As we approach Christmas season, I was inspired to remake a Christmas video lesson that I shot a few years ago. This lesson features a popular Christmas carol, Carol of the Bells. Originally a Ukrainian song, this carol was composed in 1914. The carol has since been arranged and performed in many different genres such as jazz, classical, rock, pop, etc.
A familiar feature of this song was the repeating 4-notes ostinato. The musical term, ostinato, is a phrase that repeats itself. The original ostinato term is derived from Italian word: stubborn. You can watch the following video and hear for yourself what ostinato means. One thing to notice is that I was able to also use a repeating pattern for the left-hand as well. As a result, you are seeing ostinato on both right and left hands.
This is also an interesting carol to experiment with improvisation. In fact, the more you experiment with this song, the more you will get the hang of it. I am having a lot of fun improvising with the right-hand melody using G minor scale. See for yourself on how you can get better at playing the ostinatos and improvising.
I also challenge you to learn this song without any sheet music – you can do it!