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Sheet Music: Angels We Have Heard on High

TitleAngels We Have Heard on High
Alternate titlesIris
Les Anges dans nos campagnes
Ainglean chuala sinn gu h-ard
Hearken, All! What Holy Singing
Gloria in excelsis Deo
ComposerTraditional French
InstrumentationFlute trio
KeyF major
RangeC4–D6
Time signature4/4
Tempo100 BPM
Performance time0:50
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (48 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (2 kB) (change tempo) MP3 (419 kB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (1 kB) (change tempo) MP3 (440 kB)
Date added2009-11-18
Last updated2009-11-18
CategoriesChristmas carols, Hymn tunes, Traditional/Folk

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Wednesday 18 November 2009

Tune of the Day: Angels We Have Heard on High

Traditional French Christmas carol
Raphael's Angels

This famous Christmas carol is sung to an adaptation of the French carol melody “Les anges dans nos campagnes” (literally, “Angels in our countryside”), arranged by American organist Edward Shippen Barnes. This hymn tune, also known as “Gloria”, features the memorable chorus: “Gloria in Excelsis Deo!”, which is Latin for “Glory to God in the highest”. The sung vowel sound “o” of “Gloria” is fluidly sustained through a lengthy rising and falling melismatic melodic sequence.

The song commemorates the story of the birth of Jesus Christ found in the Gospel of Luke, in which shepherds outside Bethlehem encounter a multitude of angels singing and praising the newborn child.