Free Electone sheet music and registrations for Joy to the World! (The Preacher’s Wife Version).
I watched The Preacher’s Wife on an odd month.
As I missed it during its cinematic run, I ended up watching this fun Penny Marshall Christmas movie in May 1997, while on a flight back from China.
It was with the old sort of IFE too. You know, the type with the projection screen at the head of the cabin. Despite the awful image quality, I enjoyed the movie tremendously. I particularly loved the euphoric Joy to the World carolling scene.
Me being a long-time Whitney fan was one reason; most of us Electone players from the 80s and 90s have played at least one of her songs. But more so, it was how Whitney sang it and the way Mervyn Warren arranged this classic Handel hymn.
Dear Lord, it was just so exuberant. There and then, I remember feeling the urge to bolt up from my seat, sing, and praise the Lord. Incidentally, I’m not of the Christian faith. That was how powerful and spiritual that scene was.
Moving forth, I’ve long wanted to arrange and play this song on the Electone. I’ve been wanting to do so for over 20 years but I’ve never gotten down to it. It just, well, felt like a lot of work.
Now that I’ve finally had, oh man, this is easily the toughest song I’ve tried my hand at! All those jazz and gospel chords, and vocal harmonisations.
Thus, though I managed to finish programming everything before Christmas, I ended up with not enough time to drill. Frankly, I doubt I’d be able to play my arrangement at full speed too. (And I set the tempo at 158, slower than the original)
I can therefore only offer you the score and registrations. Will be honest here too. I recorded the below audio at an embarrassing 80 percent of the tempo, using MDR. With this being a “Christmas gift,” I hope you can “politely” ignore this detail …
Yamaha Electone Sheet Music and ELS-02C Registration Data for Joy to the World! (The Preacher’s Wife Version)
Warning! The registration and Finale PrintMusic files are zip files! You might need to disable your virus/malware protection before downloading.
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- After slaving over this for a month, I’ve come to one sad conclusion. This version of Handel’s world-famous hymn is not completely playable on one single instrument. I’ve thus altered the second half of it.
- Some of my chord indicators MIGHT be wrong; I had a whale of a time trying to simplify them from the complicated SATB score I bought from Musicnotes.com. However, I assure you my actual notes are correct.
- I’m using an Alto Sax as Whitney’s voice i.e. the lead. Flexible as this Electone voice is, it still can’t fully emulate Whitney’s legendary singing.
- The Electone ELS-02C’s S-Articulation vocal sounds tend to have delayed attacks, thus they are largely unsuitable for punchy notes. I’ve tried to minimise this by removing the tuning and lowering the touch.
- About the Alto Sax, I’m using different footages for different registrations. This then results in some weird jumps on the upper keyboard. However, somehow, these jumps ended up feeling more comfortable to play. More enjoyable too.
- About the middle and final sections … Well, I decided to have some fun and not completely follow the original song.
- About the medley … Hey, we Electone players cannot play a Christmas song without making it a medley! (Just kiddin’)
- The grand finale is thanks to … me listening to a symphonic performance while fussing over how to complete this arrangement.
- Allow me to share my “visual concept” for this arrangement. For years, I had in mind a rendition of this song right before midnight and in a church, on Christmas Eve. In other words, I want to emulate that powerful scene from The Preacher’s Wife, with a singalong section and a triumphant finish.
Whether you’re of the Christian faith, or not, I invite you to embrace this visual imagery while playing or listening to my arrangement. Lastly, and I’m sure this is obvious, the final notes in my arrangement symbolise the Birth of Christ. Joy to the world and all ye nations! The Saviour is with us. Thereafter, he stayed with us.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
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