The holidays are the ideal time to pick up your instrument and learn some new songs so you can celebrate with sing alongs. While the violin may not be the most traditional Christmas instrument, there are still plenty of songs out there that can be played very well on the strings.
Over the festive season you will have plenty of opportunities for performance, practicing and learning new Christmas sheet music. There’s nothing like playing for those you love at this time of year or joining up with others to play together.
As a beginner it can be tricky to find violin sheet music with a Christmas theme that is easy enough for you to play. Luckily, we’ve put together some of our top favorite songs that can make sure you have a Merry Christmas. Each of these songs are popular as well as being ideal for new violin students thanks to their inclusion of the fundamentals such as scales and techniques. Let’s start decking those halls with Christmas violin tunes.
1. Joy to the World
Joy to the World probably has some of the easiest sheet music for violin so is ideal for beginner violinists to pick up. This song originally became a Yuletide classic in 1719 as it was first written as a hymn. While we know that the lyrics can from the Bible, the composer of the actual Christmas sheet music remains a mystery to this day. Many people originally thought that Handel was the one to compose the melody but the tune we know and love today was revised by Lowell Mason.
2. Away in a Manger
This is a perfect song for beginner violinists who are just starting out reading sheet music for violin. It can be played at a slower tempo and is a traditional Christmas carol that everyone knows. Originally thought to be the composition of Martin Luther, the person who wrote the lyrics is still debated today.
3. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Originally composed in 1739 by Charles Wesley, this song was written to be slow and solemn. It was much different to the jaunty Christmas sheet music we are used to today. The popular version we love today has been changed by dozens of people over the centuries. The most notable changes came from George Whitefield and Felix Mendelssohn who added in a more joyful melody and happier sounding lyrics.
4. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Once again this is a piece of violin sheet music that no-one knows who composed it originally. The likely origins of We Wish You a Merry Christmas are in England from their traditional carol singers. The early history of this song has been lost over the years but it was first found in music anthologies dating back to 1822. it’s still a classic Christmas song to this day, even without any sort of sources. The sheet music is written in the key of G major so it should be easy enough for beginners to pick up.
5. Silent Night
This song was famously composed by Franz Gruber with lyrics penned by Joseph Mohr. Silent Night has been a traditional holiday song since 1818 when it was first performed. The popularity of the song grew over the years and is now part of the UNESCO cultural heritage. For a time Mohr’s name was not associated with the piece and many people thought the composition was down to a more famous artist such as Beethoven or Mozart. When the original sheet music was found in 1995, Mohr got the credit he deserved for his work.
6. Jingle Bells
Jingle Bells is probably the most known and sung Christmas songs in America. It was originally composed in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont and it had a different name of One Horse Open Sleigh. The song is written in common time as well as the key of G minor so it’s the perfect violin song for any beginner.
7. Deck the Halls
Deck the Halls is unique because it can be used for Christmas, New Years and Yuletide. The song originally came from Wales in the 16th century with the English lyrics being added ;after in 1862 by Thomas Oliphant. Depsite the fact that this song is older than dirt, it is still very popular and well known today. The melody uses some pretty simple notes to make up the melody and it’s an easy song to master without much practice.
As you work your way through these popular Christmas songs you may begin to notice some benefits to your violin playing. The more songs that you learn, the more skills you pick up as you go along. These pieces are brilliant for your music theory, sheet music reading, bowing techniques and overall playing. You may also notice your memory and attention spans improving too. We hope you enjoyed our festive list. Make sure to let us know your favorite Christmas songs to play on the violin. We’d love to hear from you!
What is the easiest song to play on the violin?
The easiest song to play on the violin is Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star but in terms of Christmas songs, Away in a Manger may be your easiest go to for the festive season.
What are the top 3 Christmas songs?
- Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas is You
- The Pogues – Fairytale of New York
- Wham! – Last Christmas
What is the easiest Christmas song to sing?
Jingle Bells is probably the easiest Christmas song to sing along too purely because it follows the same rhythm and a very simple note pattern throughout the entire piece.