program notes by composition > S > The Sussex Mummers' Christmas Carol

The Sussex Mummers' Christmas Carol

Percy Aldridge Grainger, arr. D. Stotter

This tune was noted by Miss Lucy Brodwood near Horsham in Sussex, England, in 1880 and 1881. It came from the singing of Christmas Mummers called Tipteers or Tipteerers during their play of Saint George, the Turk and the Seven Champions of Christendom. A mummer is one who goes merrymaking in disguise during festivals.

Percy Grainger (1882 – 1961) was an Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist. His chief fame rests as a composer of unconventional and original music that was characterized by its shift from the standard convention. He employed meters which were irregular and unusual. An eccentric to the core, Grainger's private life was as celebrated and scrutinized as his works. Born to an architect father and a domineering mother, who was apparently a major influence in his life, he traveled widely and eventually settled in the United States. He developed a deep interest in Nordic music, something that he carried throughout his life, taking measures to spread it across the globe.

Last updated on March 6, 2020 by Palatine Concert Band