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Charles Dickens' "Christmas Carol" Play - Music and Sound Effects

by Tony Palermo

Many drama troupes staging Dickens' "Christmas Carol" need professional quality pre-recorded music and sound effects. I offer music and SFX cues that can support any dramatized version of Dickens' famous novel.

TO ORDER: See below for prices and how to pay. The pre-recorded music cues and pre-recorded sound effects tracks can be downloaded as MP3 files.

ALSO AVAILABLE:


A Christmas Carol music and sound effects tracks come from Tony Palermo's very faithful script adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic story of Christmas. However, hundreds of troupes producing other adaptations of the tale have used the music and sound effects tracks created to support my radio and stage "Carol" scripts. I offer orchestral pre-recorded music tracks of Victorian Christmas carols and spooky ghost music. The instrumentation is brass choir, pipe and reed organs, hand bells, church bells, chimes, cymbals, timpani, fiddle, concertina, music-box, wine glasses (glass harmonica), choirs and strings.

Additionally, pre-recorded sound effects are available for the more unusual sounds: wintry winds, Scrooge’s bells and clocks chiming the various hours called for in the script, Marley’s thunder and ghostly bashing, transitional cues of cymbals and chimes and the otherworldly screech of the Ghost of Christmas Future as it “replies” to Scrooge’s many questions.  Please note that sounds generated by the characters, such as doors, Marley dragging his cashboxes, noisy crowds bustling around Scrooge, toasts, plates and forks, are NOT part of the pre-recorded collection. Those sounds are intended to be done live by the actors as they perform.

The pre-recorded music is intended for scene transitions and as dramatic underscoring. This is not a Broadway-style musical. There are traditional Victorian carols used, but they are not meant to be sung over. However, it is possible to employ a choir to serve within scenes as the poor child carolers dispelled by Scrooge and as Marley's colleagues, the moaning phantoms. You can choose to insert carolers at Nephew Fred's parties, the Cratchit household and elsewhere.

Here's a free, downloadable MP3 clip of a "Christmas Carol" scene, demonstrating how the music and sound effects support the drama:

MP3 - A Christmas Carol - Scrooge & Marley excerpt (2.2 MB)

These tracks were specifically created for my “Carol” adaptations for stage and radio. Please note that other “Carol” scripts may not use some SFX, such as the coach & horses, the blind man’s buff crashes, doors and locks, wind and chimes, the otherworldly “voice” of the 3rd Spirit, the SFX department mayhem, etc. See below for a complete list of sounds.

 


Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol pre-recorded sound effects and period-correct musical underscore tracks.

MUSIC:
Pre-recorded music for "A Christmas Carol":

Twenty-two pre-recorded, orchestral music cues serve for scene changes and to dramatically underscore the dialogue at various points. This is NOT a Broadway style musical, with a singing Scrooge or tap-dancing Tiny Tim. The music cues I provide function the way film scores do--to support and color the drama. In scoring ‘A Christmas Carol’, other than my own ghost and suspense music, I adapted old Victorian carols throughout. I used less well-known carols, to avoid cliché or sentimentality, without sacrificing the authentic characteristics that period music could lend to the story. The carols reinforce emotional and structural connections in the drama. For example; Belle's Theme ("The Coventry Carol") is played by a music box--a gift from Scrooge--that winds down as their relationship crumbles within the scene.  

The instrumentation is strictly Victorian:  brass choir, pipe and reed organs, hand bells, church bells, chimes, cymbals, timpani, fiddle, concertina, music-box, wine glasses (glass harmonica), choirs and strings.

The 36 minutes of music tracks--curtain cues, underscoring via carols and ghost music--are available as downloadable MP3 files.

 1) Overture/Introduction [1:09] - “See Amid the Winter’s Snow"
 2) Boy Carolers singing [0:21] - “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
 3) Foggy Night [1:10]
 4) Marley’s Woe [3:05]
 5) The Phantoms [0:54]
 6) Spirit #1 Arrives [0:15]
 7) Christmas Past [2:35] - transition plus “In the Bleak Mid-Winter”
 8) Fezziwig’s Ball [1:15] - transition plus fiddle tuning, then “Sussex Carol”
 9) Belle’s Music Box [1:27] - transition plus “The Coventry Carol”
10) Return to Bed[0:11]
11) Spirit 2 arrives [1:02] - transitions plus “Good King Wenceslas”
12) Christmas Present/Cratchit’s #1 [1:40] - Church bell cacophony, plus “Away in the Manger”
13) Christmas Montage [0:55] - transition plus “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
14) Spirit #3 Arrives [1:16]
15) Cratchit’s Home #2 [1:09] - transition plus “Silent Night”
16) Graveyard [1:26]
17) Bell Cacophony [1:26]
18) Christmas Day [1:00] - “Wassail Song”
19) Fred’s Party [0:47] - “In the Bleak Mid-Winter”
20) Uncle Scrooge [0:08] - “Christmas Tree Quadrille #4”
21) God Bless Us [1:02] - “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”
22) Outro/Curtain Call [0:54] - “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”

        Christmas Carol music tracks are available without purchasing script performance royalties for my stage or radio adaptations.

 SOUND EFFECTS:
Pre-recorded sound effects for "A Christmas Carol":

While your troupe’s Sound Designer could assemble such sounds from various SFX collections, here, they are already edited, ambience is added and sequences are laid out in sync with Dickens scenes. It will cost you more time and trouble to do this yourself than to purchase this collection of ready-to-go tracks.

Thirty-three pre-recorded sound effects tracks covering the more unusual sounds called for in Dickens' story. The collection of 12 minutes of SFX cues are available as downloadable MP3 files.

  1) Wind--under intro [1:39]
  2) Scrooge's office clock strikes (7X) [0:25]
  3) Wind--under Scrooge's walk home [1:40]
  4) Scrooge double locks [0:10]
  5) Various doors and locks [0:14]
  6) Bells 1, 2, 3 – then they stop. [0:23]
  7) Marley (basement) Bash, Bash, Crash, chains, walking [0:34]
  8) Thunder (1X) [0:16]
  9) Thunder (2X) [0:20]
10) Wind, ghosts—moan, chains--Thunder [0:54]
11) Scrooge’s bedroom clock strikes (1X) [0:09]
12) Coach, horses, boys walla-walla [0:31]
13) Cymbal/Wind chimes transition #1 – to school [0:19]
14) Cymbal/Wind chimes trans #2 – years later at school [0:20]
15) Scrooge’s bedroom clock strikes (1X) [0:19]
16) Cymbal/Wind chimes transition #3 – to Fred’s [0:20]
17) Small blind man’s buff crash [0:10]
18) Medium blind man’s buff crash [0:10]
19) Big blind man’s buff crash [0:10]
20) Wind--under Spirit 2's trip around world [0:59]
21) Otherworldly screech from Spirit 3 (“Yes!”) [0:15]
22) Otherworldly screech from Spirit 3 (“No!”) [0:15]
23) Cymbal/Wind chimes transition #4 – to the Exchange [0:18]
24) Otherworldly screech from Spirit 3 (“Wait!”) [0:15]
25) Cymbal/Wind chimes transition #5 – to Rag & Bone shop [0:18]
26) Cymbal/Wind chimes transition #6 – to dead body [0:15]
27) Otherworldly screech from Spirit 3 (“Look!”) [0:15]
28) Otherworldly screech from Spirit 3 (“Look!”) [0:15]
29) Otherworldly screech from Spirit 3 (“You must!”) [0:15]
30) Thunder transition to graveyard – with wind—It fades [0:39]
31) SEQUENCE: Graveyard SFX – a series of linked cues [1:45]
            Otherworldly screech from Spirit 3 (“Look!”)
            Thunder and Wind
            Chains and Wind
            Thunder and Wind
            Thunder and Wind, Ghosts moaning
            Otherworldly screech from Spirit 3 (“Yes!”)
            Thunder and Wind
            Thunder and Ghosts and Wind (it fades out)
32) Scrooge's office clock strikes 9x—under narration [0:30]
33) (optional) SFX department making a racket [0:09]

The pre-recorded Christmas Carol sound effect tracks are available without purchasing script performance royalties for my stage or radio adaptations.


--Order Information--

PRICES:
Pre-Recorded Music tracks:  (one-time fee) --as MP3 downloads
Pre-Recorded SFX tracks:  (one-time fee) --as MP3 downloads

Once you download the MP3s, you can burn them to audio CDs or trigger them from a computer or MP3 player. 

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HOW TO PAY FOR MUSIC & SOUND EFFECTS TRACKS:

I accept credit card payments via the free and secure www.PayPal.com service.

1) Go to the www.PayPal.com website, click on the “Send Money” button, and register for free.

2) Use my e-mail address of: to send the money to my PayPal account.

3) PayPal has an info box on their payment page that allows you to send a note to me, use it to specify WHAT show you are ordering (I offer 25 different shows) and, if you want either/both music tracks and SFX tracks. For all orders, include your postal mail address—for my tax reporting purposes.
NOTE: If you do not specify WHAT you are ordering, I cannot send you ANYTHING.  

4) NOTE: You must pay in U.S. dollars—which is easy to do on Paypal.
For how-to info, see: https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=p/sell/mc/mc_send-outside

DELIVERY:
Once your payment has been received, I will e-mail you links to special download pages for the MP3 files of the tracks. 

If you have any questions, contact:


TONY PALERMO is an audio theatre producer, performer, and educator living in Los Angeles, California.
He performs professionally, conducts workshops, and produces programs for hire.
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Last modified: 10/06/14