Arranged by Will Scott
Edited by Mathew House
Silent Night arose from a cold wet night in the little town of Oberndorf near Salzburg. Austrian priest Joseph Mohr had written the lyrics of Stille Nacht which he took to composer Franz Gruber to write a melody to the text. With Christmas Eve on the horizon, Silent Night was intended to be accompanied by the old church organ, but with years of neglect, flooding and rats eating the bellows, the organ was too damaged to play. Hence on Christmas Eve, the first performance of Silent Night was accompanied by the guitar instead. Originally in a major key, the chords in the first A section of this arrangement are changed to the relative minor. I first heard this variation in the Christmas film ‘Nativity,’ where the melody of Silent Night is accompanied by minor tonality chords from the ballet Swan Lake.