While Shepherds Watched

An arrangement of the Chestnut Major tune for ‘While shepherds watched’ for SATB and organ/piano.

This is an arrangement of one of the many tunes for ‘While shepherds watched’ that have fallen out of favour since Winchester New cornered the market.

The tune is a major variant of the same basic melody, Chestnut, that underlies ‘Come all ye worthy gentlemen’, ‘God rest ye merry, gentlemen’, ‘Unto us is born a son’, and probably others. There is an arrangement of it in the Oxford Book of Carols, but personally I found that one a bit pedestrian so wrote this one instead.

The trumpet part was added in 2019.

Summary information


Version 3.0

This version includes an optional trumpet part and rehearsal marks.

MP3 rendering of the MIDI preview.

Version 2.0

This version incorporates changes introduced after feedback from the first performance.

MP3 rendering of the MIDI preview.

Source code

This piece was written using Lilypond. The source code for it is available from my GitLab repository. To compile it yourself, you will also need my house style files.