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Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago.
December 25
circa 3 B.C. -  Traditional date of appearance of celestial choir in the skies above a "stable" in or around Bethlehem.

1723 - Premiere of Bach's Magnificat in Leipzig.

1728 - Johann Adam Hiller, German composer, was born in Wendisch-Ossig.

1734 - Premiere of Bach's Christmas Oratorio, at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig.

1815 - First concert of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston.

1821 - Beethoven finished his Hammerklavier Sonata.

1845 - Death of German composer Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach, in Berlin at age 86. The oldest surviving son of J.S. Bach.

1897 - John Philip Sousa finished his Stars and Stripes Forever march.

1934 - Premiere of D. Shostakovich's Cello Sonata, by cellist Viktor Kubatsky, the composer at the piano.

1937 - Arturo Toscanini conducted his first NBC concert broadcast.

1959 - Richard Starkey, 18, who later would be known as Ringo Starr, received a drum set for Christmas.

1995 - Singer Dean Martin died at age 78.

Did You Guess?
Nope, not the violin! The song was originally played on the guitar!
Can You Guess?
It is said that Silent Night was written due to the breakdown of the church organ.  Can You Guess what instrument the song was first played on?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hoch heilige Paar.
Holder Knab' im lockigten Haar,
|: Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh! :|

Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund, Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'. |: Jesus in deiner Geburt! :|

Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Die der Welt Heil gebracht,
Aus des Himmels goldenen Höhn,
Uns der Gnaden Fülle läßt sehn,
|: Jesum in Menschengestalt! :|

Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Wo sich heut alle Macht
Väterlicher Liebe ergoß,
Und als Bruder huldvoll umschloß |: Jesus die Völker der Welt! :|

Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Lange schon uns bedacht,
Als der Herr vom Grimme befreit
In der Väter urgrauer Zeit
|: Aller Welt Schonung verhieß! :|

6. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Alleluja,
Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah:
Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Franz Gruber
Joseph Mohr
Christmas Eve of 1818 Pastor Joseph Mohr of St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Germany needed a carol for the Christmas Eve service. Two years before, while serving as pastor of a pilgrim church in Mariapfarr, Mohr had written a poem to commemorate the birth of Jesus.
Maestro Fabrizio Ferrari, founder of
Virtual Sheet Music,
has graciously provided sheet music for this wonderful hymn at no charge. 
Thank you, Fabrizio, for this wonderful gift.
Click the version that you would like to download.

Silent Night for 2 Violins

Silent Night for Violin and Piano

Silent Night for Cello and Piano

Silent Night for Viola and Piano

Silent Night for String Quartet

Silent Night for Piano

A blessed Christmas to you all
from Art, Kathy and Adriana Haule!
Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hoch heilige Paar.
Holder Knab' im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf' in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlaf' in himmlischer Ruh!
Silent Night!  Holy Night!
Everyone sleeps except for  the blessed, holiest couple and the lovely boy with curly hair. 
Sleep in heavenly peace! 
Sleep in heavenly peace!
                                        (My translation)
He decided to have this poem set to music by his schoolteacher friend, Franz Xaver Gruber.  Gruber was the church's organist and choirmaster. In just a few hours Gruber had written what may well be the most beloved Christmas melody of all time.  It was performed that year by two voices and the church choir. 

The orignal six verses in German and what is probably the most popular English version of the hymn are posted below.
Classical Sheet Music to download instantly