An arrangement for String Quartet with optional Violin 3


Standard: Moderate


Running time: 1 min 53

  • What you will receive....

    Your download will contain the score and parts in PDF format and an audio file in MP3 format of a full performance of the piece, to aid rehearsal and preparation for performance!


    See our How it Works page for more information. 

  • About the piece

    'Once in Royal David’s City
    Stood a lowly cattle shed
    Where a mother laid her baby
    In a manger for her bed'




    The words to this famous Christmas carol were written by an Irish poet called Cecil Frances Alexander and she published them in 1848 in her hymn book called 'Hymns for Little Children'. She is also famous for writing the words to the hymn 'All Things Bright and Beautiful'.


    One year later, an English organist called Henry John Gauntlett discovered the poem and set the words to the music we know today. The tune is known as 'Irby'.




    I have arranged this for string quartet but also added an alternative violin 3 part in case there is the need. It is a simple arrangement but I graded it as Moderate because of the bars' rest that need to be counted, and because there is a section near the end where there is a change of mood. I also felt it needed to be played with expression and understanding to make the most of the music. It isn’t technically difficult however, so beginners of lower levels could definitely have a go at it;  however if you use the Violin 3 part you will see that because it is designed to replace a viola it is pitched low and uses the G string.