Silent Night

from by Brian Blume

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In 1818, after seeing a Christmas drama performed that re-enacted the story of Christ’s birth, Josef Mohr walked home in the small town of Obendorf, Austria. In a meditative mood, Mohr stopped at the top of a hill overlooking the peaceful, snow-covered village. Gazing down at the wintry scene, he recalled a poem he had written a few years before about the night the angels announced the birth of the long-awaited Messiah to shepherds on a hillside. He decided these words would make a good carol to be sung by his congregation the following evening at their Christmas Eve service.

The next day, Mohr took the words of his poem to his church organist, Franz Gruber, asking for a melody to be sung that evening. So within a few hours, Gruber composed a musical setting for the poem to be sung with a guitar, for, as the story goes, the church organ was inoperable at the time.
On that Christmas Eve, a song was born that would find its way into the hearts of people through-out the world. Now translated into hundreds of languages, “Stille Nacht” is sung by untold millions every December from small chapels to great cathedrals.

This arrangement for marimba and vibraphone sets the peaceful and meditative mood present in the words of this classic carol. While many markings and indications are present in the music, much of the piece is to be performed rather freely.


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, loves pure light

Radiant beams from Thy Holy Face

With the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord, at Thy Birth!

Jesus, Lord, at Thy Birth!


from Let It Snow, released November 19, 2012
Words by Josef Mohr
Music by Franz Gruber



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Brian Blume Lakeland, Florida

Composer, percussionist, and educator, Brian currently serves as Assistant Professor of Percussion at Southeastern University (Lakeland, FL). As a composer, Brian has works published by Tapspace, drop6, and PercMaster. Brian earned MM and BM degrees in performance from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. ... more

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