O Holy Night sheet music for all instruments, free!
Lead sheets, vocal duets, and piano versions in 3 keys, with Oh Holy Night lyrics as a PDF for easy printing.
Do you want to see your students' eyes light up?
Just ask them if they have ever heard this Christmas song, and start to play the first line of "O Holy Night" chords.
If they have ever heard it before, they will LONG to play it. Here is a moving video of the story told by "O Holy Night," Josh Groban singing:
Here is page 1 of the lead sheet O Holy Night sheet music, available here FREE in 4 keys.
Scroll down the page to find the free PDF links:
Now for the piano arrangement...
It is the flowing chords that give the O Holy Night sheet music its special flavor.
Never having found a version easy enough for my students but also lovely enough to want to play and work hard on, or even with which to accompany singers, I finally arranged my own version.
The chord pattern is different from the lilting chord inversion pattern usually heard with piano arrangements of O Holy Night, but my pattern frees the right hand to play the melody.
There are some chord "fragments" in the right hand. If kids are somewhat familiar with playing chords in inversions, then they may be ready for this song.
Here are pages one and three of the O Holy Night sheet music, and now I am going to offer you a little music theory help!
When I start O Holy Night sheet music with my younger students, it is always in the key of C.
I have them read and play the first left-hand chord, then tell me its name (C).
Even though it seems like that should be pretty obvious, the doubling of the C at the octave can cause confusion.
Especially if they haven't played the chord built in that manner, kids may be cautious about advancing an opinion about a chord if it shows up in unfamiliar guise!
They always recognize chords in root position.
This slash chord, the F over C, is so beautiful that we usually start over so we can experience it again without hesitation (or so much hesitation, at least!).
The left hand then moves back into the C chord for a couple measures, and then the hand drops to a "g".
Most kids will start immediately to form a G chord, so I give them a warning to read carefully.
"It looks like it might be a G chord, but is it?"
Having just made the F/C slash chord, they are more wary, and usually recognize quickly that it is really a C chord -- a C over G, written "C/G".
As we move along in the O Holy Night sheet music, we are writing the chord names at the top of each measure.
We do this right over the beat where each chord begins (not centered over the measure, which some kids are tempted to do).
On page 2, measure 29 of the O Holy Night sheet music (that page not shown here), the song moves briefly ("modulates") into the relative minor key of the key of C, Am. ("Fall... on your knees... ")
We meet the Am chord, and its iv and v chords, which also happen to be the ii and iii chords of the key of C -- Dm and Am.
(And if you didn't already know, the minor chords are designated with lower-case Roman numerals, not capitals as the major chords have.)
Now let's skip to page 3 of the O Holy Night sheet music...
After 2 pages of left hand chords in the same basic formation, finally something different in measures 43 & 44, just in time for the high point of the song!
Measure 45 of the O Holy Night sheet music is a root-position G chord, but the next measure may be harder to decipher for some.
It is still a G chord, but it has changed into a G7 chord, with the "f" in the bass (and doubled at the top).
Where is the "g" of the chord? In the right hand, and I point it out to my students.
That chord climbs and climbs and finally comes to rest at a simple F chord: it feels like a sigh of relief.
Later, when they are very familiar with the right hand and putting hands together, I suggest adding extra chord tones to some of the right hand notes.
Actually, they are eager to do this themselves, once they understand that the extra notes are just part of the same chord!
And that is basically it. After thrashing through the left hand chords like this, the right hand is a breeze (except some kids will need help choosing fingering), so I frequently don't even go into it (depending on the student).
And now, O Holy Night lyrics and harmony part, for two voices!
Sing this free Christmas song for a church duet.
My easy soprano/alto arrangement of O Holy Night sheet music will not take long for your singers to master... for the most part, the harmony stays a third or a sixth below the melody, without any complicated maneuvers.
There is only one place where I broke the rules a little, with a spot where the harmony crosses over the melody's previous note (a forbidden move in elementary voice leading).
But the harmony part in measure 28 is begging for a bit of drama, so I allow it to break out of the lower notes.
And a lovely rendition of my free duet version, posted at Youtube by Dave and Shirley in Canada (thanks, Dave & Shirley - & Chris!):
Here are the Oh Holy Night lyrics, useful for sing-alongs, or just for saving paper!
Here are the links to the lead sheets at the top of the page:
The free vocal duet, in three keys:
And the lyrics in PDF format:
The wonderful thing about a song like "O Holy Night" is that it is so motivating to play, for the sheer pleasure of hearing it come together, that kids will work and work on it. I have seen a lot of smiles lately, passing out this piece.
GET THE PIANO SOLO MUSIC, $5.00 for 3 keys, Bb, C, & D (this piano piece can be used to accompany the vocals, but is a stand-alone arrangement):
I just purchased O Holy Night to use as a duet for Christmas Eve Mass. Thank you so much for this simple, easy to read version as my vocalists are not professional and this music won't be quite so intimidating as other arrangements I have. Your expertise is much appreciated!! Merry Christmas!
Hello - I just want to say THANK YOU so much for the duet version of Oh Holy night (in Bb too!), which is great, as I have two students at school that are going to sing this in a concert in 3 weeks. With not much time and no budget, it is so nice to find an arrangement! Thank you.