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  • Silent Night arrangement I am working on for a Christmas CD.

    Hi to the forum.

    I have been working on arrangements for friends of mine who asked me to create arrangements for them of Xmas carols for a CD they are planning to release next year. There are quite a lot of arrangements for this CD. Three of them involve solo singers and a small choir of SATB singers.

    I thought I would share an arrangement of Silent Night that I came up with.

    The link is here:

    There is still a lot more to add to the track yet - the actual singers, strings and other instruments, and I'm thinking I'd like a key change upwards on the last verse.

    I'm thinking probably just piano and the soprano soloist on the first opening verse, then I would start and add instruments bit by bit on the next verses.

    I should point out that there is a little bit of work that needs to be done with some of the notes on the piano midi track. This was not quantized, but I played it to a click track in the studio on a keyboard. You can probably here some of the notes here and there in different places that need to be shifted slightly, or changed for a more even effect, but this is the raw midi file of me playing. I'll probably have to add some ritardando to the tempo track at the end of the recording to round out the feel of an ending also.

    I have started working on putting the piano part into a Sibelius file, but the file is not finished yet.

    I used 
    the Vienna Symphonic Library Soprano Download Instruments for the melody in this mockup and the Ivory Piano for the playback of the midi file. For the reverb I used the VSL Hybrid reverb - one for the piano and a different one for the choir, plus some of the other plug-ins from the VSL Vienna Suite. I have not done any panning with this file in my DAW  yet though.

    Any suggestions welcome.

    thanks and best,

    Steve Smile

  • Hello Steve

    Just a little suggestion (joke):

    Let the singers breathe a breath from time to time... in December...  ;-)

    - Tips & Tricks while using Samples of VSL.. see at: - Tutorial "Mixing an Orchestra":
  • Hi Beat,

    thanks for taking the time to listen. Yes, It would be a good idea if I did give them a chance to breathe!


    Steve [:D]

  • Steve,

    This is indeed very nice - love the piano arrangement. I knew Beat was going to chime in on the breathing, as that is a sticking point with him (and he's right).

    As I was listening, I kept thinking you should scrap the voices altogether and bring in VSL's solo cello instead. With the piano accompaniment you've written, that would sound fabulous.

    At any rate, keep writing! You're doing well.


  • Hi Corte,

    thank you for your feedback and it's nice to know that you like the arrangement. Sorry, I should have explained though, that this is for an actual performance for a Xmas CD that I am being employed to write the arrangements for, so there is a soprano soloist, and there is also going to be a part written for a tenor soloist also and they will be singing above the piano part for the recording. I  suppose what some people would call this is a "midi mockup", so if I was using the Soprano choir for a mockup, I would definitely have to put in some breathing space for them. I was just playing along with my piano track and playing the Soprano VI without actually thinking about putting spaces for breathing in there.

    I am thinking though, that your suggestion would be a good idea for another version of the piece.  I do have the full version of the VSL solo strings also.

    Thanks again for your comments and feedback Corte.



  •  Hello Steve,

    every time I listen to the intro I hear snow gently falling...

    Good luck with your work,


  • Hi Sebastian,

    thank you for the encouraging feedback.  I'm glad it stimulates your imagination to come up with a scene like that!'


    steve [:)]

  • Great composition and piano playing. One of my favorite traditional Christmas hymnals. Thanks for sharing... 

  • Thank you Jake for the positive feedback. Glad you enjoyed the music.



  •  Steve

    Your arrangement of Silent Night sounds great and I would like to hear the final version.

    For what its worth here are some comments:

    don't over complicate the piece - over arangement can destroy the serene simplicity of the piece;

    re change of key for last verse " don't do it"  Bach, Mozart and Beethoven would never do it;

     Boy Bands  do it  - as they stand up and walk towards the camera - and  it is absolutely "mince" - that is a  light hearted Scottish saying for  "rubbish"



  • Hi Kanon,

    thank you for your reply and advice. I also had someone else tell me not to do a key change at the end either, so with your advice also reinforcing the same thing, I have decided not to do the key change. I'm aiming to keep this as simple as possible. For the recording, it will only be two voices, a soprano and tenor, and I will be adding some very light strings, and a few other very light instrumental colours. That is where it is going to be a challenge - to not overdo it.

    thanks again for your comment and feedback. I do appreciate that!

    best regards,


  • Hi  Steve

    your arrangment was interesting and since we're approaching Christmas i thought if you have an updated or even a final version to share? i would like to hear that :)

  • Hi Mayyar,

    sorry, I have no update for the file, as there are other things I have been working on.However, I would like to do another version, but, I don't know if I will get it done before xmas though due to other things taking my time unfortunately.

    If I do manage to get another version done, I will post the new file for you to listen to.[:)]

    Thanks and best,

    Steve [:)]

  • beautiful harmonisation! love it! just the two chords at 2:34 and 2:36 sound a bit like "you are leaving the american sector" :-)

  • Hi Saxer,

    thank you for listening and the feedback. If you are curious, I can let you know what the chords are. Ffrom my memory,  the first one  isa d minor over b minor, with the melody note in the right hand moving down in semitones, [a half diminished type harmony over a B], and the second chord folowing that is a F minor over an E in the bass, which then moves to an A minor chord next, and to a D major 7th chord with a melodic minor harmonies over the top.

    Thanks again for the positive feedback. I'll be getting around to orchestrating this soon for the CD.



  • Hello Steve

    I  listened to your arrangment days ago for more than once, and i wanted to tell you that i appreciate it a lot more than wheni first heard it, i don't know why, but i just realized the workk you've put in it, i loved it, it is GOOD!! i loved the harmony!

  • Hi Mayyar,

    thank you kindly for the feedback. I do appreciate that you enjoyed the music.



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