It Came Upon the
Words: Edmund H. Sears,
Music: Richard Starrs Willis, 1819-1900
Tuning: D-F#-A for diatonic dulcimer
Arrangement: Ruth Randle
The words for this American carol are based on a poem
written by Unitarian minister Dr. Edmund Sears in 1849.
The following year, inspired by the poem, Richard Storrs
Willis, a composer as well as editor and critic for the
New York Tribune, wrote a melody called "Carol" to which
the words were adapted.
The reason 1-3-5
excels in this song is by offering the use of "color
1) In measure 6, you use a 1/1/3 chord for
harmony. That note on the middle string is a G#,
available in a D major at that location only with a
1-3-5 tuning. Incidentally, that chord is E/G#/D, an E7.
2) In measure 18 you use an F# chord...beautiful,
but impossible in D major, since it requires the A# on
the middle string.
3) Finally, in measure 23 is another E chord
(1/1/1) needing that G#.
This tablature is available in the following formats:
(be sure to set your printer to "fit to page")
Mountain Dulcimer tablature
arrangement by Ruth Randle 10/2003
TablEdit by John Sackenheim
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