Add "O Holy Night" to Your Christmas Carol Repertoire

O Holy Night cover

Posted by Sean McGowan

Known as “Cantique de Noel” in its original French, the song we call “O Holy Night” is one of the most beloved and enduring in the standard Christmas carol repertoire. The song started as a commission to noted French poet and wine merchant Placide Cappeau by a local clergyman. Using the Gospel of Luke as inspiration, Cappeau wrote the poem and asked his friend and noted composer Adolphe Adam to set it to music. The resulting work became popular despite being denounced by the Catholic Church for a period of time (owing in part to Cappeau’s association with socialist and secular movements that publicly criticized power and corruption within the church).

O Holy Night 8 BARS
Click to enlarge.

This arrangement features a low, cello-inspired tuning, C G D G B E. This tuning works well for songs in the key of C major and is actually not too far removed from standard tuning, since the top four strings are the same.

Excerpted from Holiday Songs for Fingerstyle Guitar

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