Tune of the Day: Angels We Have Heard on High
This famous Christmas carol is sung to an adaptation of the French carol melody “Les anges dans nos campagnes” (literally, “Angels in our countryside”), arranged by American organist Edward Shippen Barnes. This hymn tune, also known as “Gloria”, features the memorable chorus: “Gloria in Excelsis Deo!”, which is Latin for “Glory to God in the highest”. The sung vowel sound “o” of “Gloria” is fluidly sustained through a lengthy rising and falling melismatic melodic sequence.
The song commemorates the story of the birth of Jesus Christ found in the Gospel of Luke, in which shepherds outside Bethlehem encounter a multitude of angels singing and praising the newborn child.