Carol of the Bells- Behind the music.

‘Carol of the Bells’, also known as the ‘Ukrainian Bell Carol’ was written in 1914 by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych. The tune is based on the Ukrainian folk chant ‘Shchedryk.’ The meter is a waltz 3/4 time and the melody is a minor key ostinato. While often sung by choirs (as the song has lyrics) it’s a Christmas carol that has also found it’s way into many instrumental arrangements.

My solo piano approach to the song begins quietly in G minor using parts of the melody in the upper register creating an almost atmospheric sound, letting the notes ring to almost decay. As the song progresses it picks up tempo. One of my favorite parts of my arrangement is the mid section around measure 87 using elements of the song to take it into a slightly different direction before ending as softly as it began.

This piece has evolved a little bit for me over the years and my live performances of it are now actually a bit longer than my recorded version.

Listen to my arrangement of ‘Carol of the Bells’ on Spotify HERE

Listen to ‘Carol of the Bells’ radio on Pandora HERE

Listen to ‘Carol of the Bells’ on Apple Music HERE

Want to learn how to play my arrangement of ‘Carol of the Bells’ on your piano or keyboard? Sheet Music available HERE

2019-12-16T19:53:32-06:00 December 16th, 2019|Tags: |


  1. Eve December 17, 2019 at 10:47 am

    This is absolutely one of my most favorite Christmas songs, and your recording is the only one on my playlist. Thank you for this beautiful arrangement.

    • Philip Wesley December 18, 2019 at 7:20 pm

      Thank you kindly for listening.

Comments are closed.