O Tannenboom

arr. Teresa Jennings

This jazzy, mellow arrangement of "O Christmas Tree" or "O Tannenbaum," has been retitled more appropriately for its purpose, "O Tannenboom." And, as you might expect, the Latin groove is also adapted accordingly to read "Boomsa Nova." Written specifically for Boomwhackers® (BWs), it features them playing a modified version of the melody to some very hip tracks. There is also a harmony (the lower notes) which you can use or ignore, as you see fit. BWs only play the notes C, D, E, G, A, and B. There are no F's or F#'s. However, if you have chromatic BWs and wish to use F#'s, which are in both the key signature and the natural melody, you can sure add them. The real melody is included in the cued flute/flugelhorn line above the piano part.

We've kept the tempo nice and easy so your Boomwhacker® players can keep up. Their part is mostly quarter notes. The exception to that is in measures 36 and 37. Here, they have whole notes tied together with roll marks over them. These are optional, and you can just let students play quarter notes instead. But the only way to sustain BWs, is by rolling. The simplest way to do this is just let each player randomly, but quickly, tap their BW repeatedly for the duration of the roll. When done together, it comes off as a percussive chord being rolled. Usually, after a BW piece, we invite players to do "Boomwhacker® applause," a fun, random playing of all BWs that provides release for players. This time, we have left the BW applause off the recording. The roll near the end reminded us of it too much and the gentleness of the tune seemed to dictate silence afterwards instead. You can, of course, add it if you prefer.

To make the tune more usable for more students, consider adding percussion. We have included a few suggested patterns and instruments here. (See below.) Add and adapt however it works best for you. We suggest letting them "groove" from the beginning up to measure 14, then laying out for eight bars until the A section repeats again at the pick-up to measure 22. From there, they can stay in until the end.

Not that we need to tell you this, but you could also substitute other instruments for the BWs. Any C instrument can play the cued flute/flugelhorn melody. Transpose if it's not a C instrument. Or keyboards or mallet percussion could play the BW part and/or the melody. Or here's a novel idea: You could actually let someone sing it.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.