Now regarded as a traditional French carol, Patapan was written by Bernard de La Monnoye (1641-1728) and was first published in 1720. Its original title was “Guillô, Pran Ton Tamborin” – “William, Bring Your Little Drum”. The carol centres on the birth of Jesus Christ, and is told from the perspective of simple folk playing simple instruments like flutes and drums.
This unique and captivating mixed choir arrangement (SSATB a cappella) successfully combines both traditional and modern choral elements to inspire and challenge choirs. In line with the text, the vocal parts take on an instrumental role (drum and flute) in a series of interludes woven between the four verses, while the underlying Bass ostinato gives a stylish, upbeat rhythmic flavour.
Patapan is a great piece for holiday concerts and provides a wonderful opportunity to display your choir’s flair and vocal agility.