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Sheet Music: Joy to the World

TitleJoy to the World
Alternate titlesAntioch
ComposerLowell Mason (1792–1872)
Also attributed toGeorge Frideric Handel (1685–1759)
InstrumentationFlute and Piano
KeyD major
RangeD5–D6
Time signature2/4
Tempo96 BPM
Performance time0:25
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (65 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (1 kB) (change tempo) MP3 (311 kB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (1 kB) (change tempo) MP3 (325 kB)
Date added2009-10-14
Last updated2009-10-14
CategoriesChristmas carols, Hymn tunes

Performances

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Wednesday 14 October 2009

Tune of the Day: Joy to the World

Traditional Christmas carol

The music for this famous hymn was adapted and arranged by Lowell Mason from an older melody which was then believed to have originated from Handel, not least because the theme of the refrain (“And heaven and nature sing...”) appears in the orchestra opening and accompaniment of the recitative “Comfort Ye” from Handel's Messiah, and the first four notes match the beginning of the choruses “Lift up your heads and Glory to God” from the same oratorio. However, it can be stated with certainty that Handel did not compose the entire tune.

Even if today “Joy to the World” is commonly thought of as a Christmas song, its lyrics were originally written by Isaac Watts as a hymn glorifying Christ's triumphant return at the end of the age.