- Sheet music and tab downloads are located below.
This Christmas Carol is in C major, so there will be low 2nd finger throughout on the D and A strings. Beginners sometimes have trouble playing low 2nd finger without also moving the 1st and or 3rd fingers lower too. Work on keeping 1 and 3 where they should go but moving 2nd finger from its normal position to the low position.
The bowing in this carol is a little challenging for beginners because much of the time the down bows are longer than the up bows. That means that you may find yourself drifting out to the tip of the bow and not able to hold the long down bows anymore or keep a good tone. You will need to play the longer down bows with a slower bow speed and the shorter up bows with a faster bow speed to make up for this.
Practice Exercise Suggestions
The First Noel Information
The lyrics of this carol tells the story of the Star of Bethlehem being seen by the shepherds and being followed by the Magi to the manger where Christ was born. It was first published in 1823 in a collection called Carols Ancient and Modern. It may have been written far earlier than that, but the composer can not be identified and is lost to history. English composer John Stainer has a popular version of the carol for four voices in his work Carols, New and Old, published in 1871.