O Holy Night - Leadsheet for Piano/Vocal/Guitar Lowered to G

Adolphe Charles Adam
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page one of O Holy Night - Leadsheet for Piano/Vocal/Guitar Lowered to G

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Full details

This is a version of "O Holy Night" arranged in leadsheet form in G (nice and low). The original key is just too high for most people to sing (including myself) and it’s unfriendly to guitarists (Db!).

NEW: Check out the mp3 (just click above) of my son Andrew and my daughter Katherine singing "O Holy Night"!

If you have a contemporary ensemble, here’s how I arrange it: I split up the verses between three singers, giving the best singer (or the one with the highest range) the third verse. I tell everyone to make sure the song builds, soft to powerful, soft to start verse 1, building to a powerful crescendo at measure 55.

Then I tell the others to join in at measure 27 either on verse 1 or verse 2, with harmonies or melody, until measure 42, where the soloist takes back over. So definitely for verses 2 & 3, and even verse 1 if you emphasize to the other singers to come in quietly during the first verse, medium on verse two, then let it rip for verse three.

I first heard this in this key from Avril Lavigne’s version, which is excellent; as wayward and lost as she may be, she does a tremendous interpretation of this classic piece. There’s a string quartet break in it that’s also very well done, my hat’s off to whoever produced/arranged that track.

Don’t forget, you can transpose with Sibelius, so if you and your singers can hit an E at the end, transpose this to A, which will still be guitar-friendly, if that’s an issue.

Hope you have a great Christmas, centered around the timeless message of this song! The gospel in a musical nutshell!

Score ID
Adolphe Charles Adam
Year of composition
John Sullivan Dwight
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
4 minutes
Voice + keyboard
Modern classical music

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