Joy To The World Part 1

There are two particular bowings the musician needs to be awareof. The first is the dotted quarter note with an eighth note combination. Thiscombo not only needs to be slurred, giving ¾ the bow to the dotted quarter noteand ¼ to the eighth note, but it is more difficult because the eighth noteneeds to be played as a staccato. So, instead of a smooth transition in the bowspace, there is an added pause and sharp stop to add power to the note. 


The other common rhythm and associated bowing in “Joy to theWorld” is that of the dotted half note preceding a quarter note. For thesesections it is important that the entirety of the bow is used for each note.For this, it is important to slow down your bow speed so that it lasts theentirety of the three whole counts of the dotted half note, then shoot the bowback up for the single count of the following quarter note. 

It is so important when learning to play “Joy to the World” that you get these bowings down before moving on to playing the actual piece.

Joy To The World Part 3

With it being the holidayseason, I would like to share with you a Christmas carol called “Joy to theWorld.” This song is not only a traditional carol, celebrating Jesus’ Earthlybirth but is also one of the most popular and widely recognized ones.

This carol is an incredibly simple yet complex piece, marked byits fast tempo and unique bowing characteristics. It is important to firstmaster the bowing techniques used in this piece because they are the foundationof its “oomph,” meaning that the drama of the song comes from the bowingstyle. 

Joy To The World Part 2

When learning thenotes of a piece, it is important to first notice the key signature todetermine whether you will have any sharps or flats. In the case of “Joy to theWorld,” there are two sharps, putting it in the key of D major.  Once you have determined the key, itis important to learn the notes of the song without having to worry about yourbow work as well. For this, we simply set down the bow and learn the notes andtheir fingering by plucking, gently pulling the string. 

I can’t stress enough how important it is to learn the notes correctly. If a musician doesn’t know their notes, once the bow is added, thereis a whole other level of complexity that you just won’t be ready for. Even asa professional musician, I spend a lot of time plucking to learn my notes becauseit makes finally playing the piece so much easier.All that is left to do after learning the bowing and the notes of “Joy to theWorld” is to actually play it. Do this slowly at first to make sure that youhave gotten your rhythms and notes in sync. Then play it how it was meant to beplayed. “Joy to the World” says it all –joy. This carol is meant to be a joyful and exuberant celebration of Christ’sbirth.