Composer: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Jacob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy; b. 1809, Hamburg; d. 1847, Leipzig Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal, 1908 Go to person page >

Tune Information

Composer: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1840)
Incipit: 51171 33255 54323
Key: F Major
Copyright: Public Domain


Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King:
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
with th'angelic hosts proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"

Go to text page...


The tune is from the second chorus of Felix Mendelssohn's (PHH 279) Festgesang (Op. 68) for male voices and brass; it was first performed in 1840 at the Gutenberg Festival in Leipzig, a festival celebrating the anniversary of Gutenberg's invention of the printing press. Mendelssohn's tune is similar to another that appeared one hundred years earlier in 'The Song of Mars" from the John Pepusch opera Venus and Adonis. Mendelssohn once wrote of this music, "It will never do to sacred words." William H. Cummings (b. Sidbury, Devonshire, England, 1831; d. Dulwich, London, England, 1915) may not have been aware of Mendelssohn’s opinion; he adapted the tune to Wesley's text in 1856. When they were placed together in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861), "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" became a very popular hymn. Cummings had a lifelong love of Felix Mendelssohn, sparked when he sang at age sixteen in the first London performance of Elijah, which was directed by Mendelssohn himself. As a young boy, Cummings had been a chorister at St. Paul's Cathedral and later sang in the choirs of the Temple Church, Westminster Abbey, and the Chapel Royal. Cummings became a famous tenor–he sang in oratorios and was especially known for his evangelist role in the Bach passions. He taught voice at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Normal College and School for the Blind in London and was also an accomplished organist. Cummings wrote books and articles on music history, wrote a biography of Henry Purcell and edited his music, and composed many choral pieces. MENDELSSOHN is an excellent match for Wesley's text. It is a rousing tune, even martial in some of its phrases. Sing with lots of enthusiasm; do not drown out the stanzas with too much organ–save that extra stop for the refrain and the final stanza. Let the final stanza soar with the descant and the alternate harmonization by David Willcocks (b. Newquay, England, 1919), published in Carols for Choir 1(1961). Willcocks has had a highly distinguished musical career. A chorister at Westminster Abbey, he continued his education at Clifton College, the Royal College of Music, and King's College, Cambridge, England. He was organist of Worcester Cathedral (1950-1957) and conductor of the Bradford Festival Choral Society (1955-1974). Under his leader¬ship as director of music and organist of King's College, Cambridge, from 1957 to 1974, the King's College Choir began a series of recordings which, among other repertoires, made famous the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols. Beginning in 1960 Willcocks conducted the Bach Choir of London, and in 1973 he became director of the Royal College of Music. Mainly a composer of church music, Willcocks has also made arrangements of carols, many of which were published in the various Oxford's Carols for Choirs publications. He makes frequent trips to North America for choral festivals. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook




More Piano/Organ...


More Choral...


More Instrumental...


More Handbells...


Baptist Hymnal 1991 #88
Text: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF)
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #83
  • Four-part harmony, full-score (PDF, NWC)
The Cyber Hymnal #2384
Text: Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
The Cyber Hymnal #9729
Text: Christ Is Coming
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #345
Text: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  • Full Score (PDF, XML)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
The United Methodist Hymnal #240
Text: Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
Worship and Rejoice #185
Text: Hark! the Herald Angels Sing


Instances (1 - 89 of 89)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
A New Hymnal for Colleges and Schools #231
African American Heritage Hymnal #214TextPage Scan
Ambassador Hymnal: for Lutheran worship #20
An Nou Chanté! : Let's Sing! #11
Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #66Text
Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #289
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #88TextAudioPage Scan
Baptist Hymnal 2008 #192TextFlexscorePage Scan
Catholic Book of Worship III #323
Celebrating Grace Hymnal #127TextPage Scan
Chalice Hymnal #150Text
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #83Tune InfoScoreAudio
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #61Text
Christmas Favorites #13
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #301TextPage Scan
Common Praise (1998) #138Text
Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern #53Page Scan
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #266TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #125TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #270TextAudio
Gather (3rd ed.) #424Page Scan
Gather Comprehensive #348TextPage Scan
Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #356Page Scan
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #119Text InfoTextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
Himnos de la Iglesia #102
Hinário para o Culto Cristão #96
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #87TextPage Scan
Hymnal: A Worship Book #201
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #35
Hymns and Psalms: a Methodist and ecumenical hymn book #106
Hymns for a Pilgrim People: a congregational hymnal #123Text
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #59Text
Hymns of Faith #125TextPage Scan
Hymns of Promise: a large print songbook #153TextPage Scan
Hymns of the Saints: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints #252
Hymns to the Living God #127TextPage Scan
Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #247Text
Les Chants du Pèlerin #160
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #80TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
Lutheran Service Book #380Text
Lutheran Worship #49Text
Mil Voces para Celebrar: Himnario Metodista #101
Moravian Book of Worship #295TextPage Scan
Nyimbo za Imani Yetu #62
Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #373Page Scan
Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #181Page Scan
Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #31TextPage Scan
Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #32Text
Protestant Madagascar Hymnal, 2001 #76
Protestant Madagascar Hymnal, 2001 #337a
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #345Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan
Rejoice Hymns #227
Rejoice Hymns #228
Rejoice in the Lord #196TextPage Scan
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #122
Sheng tu shi ge = Hymnary (聖徒詩歌) #46Text
Sing Joyfully #191TextPage Scan
Singing the Faith #202
Small Church Music #59Audio
Soul-stirring Songs & Hymns (Rev. ed.) #429
The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #277TextFlexscorePage Scan
The Christian Life Hymnal #93
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #157
The Cyber Hymnal #2384TextScoreAudio
The Cyber Hymnal #9563ScoreAudio
The Cyber Hymnal #9729TextScoreAudio
The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #133TextPage Scan
The New Century Hymnal #144TextPage Scan
The New English Hymnal #26TextPage Scan
The New National Baptist Hymnal #58
The United Methodist Hymnal #240TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #234
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #235Text
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #236
The Worshiping Church #171TextFlexscorePage Scan
Timeless Truths #120Text
Together in Song: Australian hymn book II #303Text
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #203TextFlexscorePage Scan
TTT-Himnaro Cigneta #42TextAudio
TTT-Himnaro Cigneta #208Text InfoTextAudio
TTT-Himnaro Cigneta #529Text
TTT-Himnaro Cigneta #604TextAudio
Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #48Text
Worship (3rd ed.) #387TextPage Scan
Worship (4th ed.) #414Flexscore
Worship and Rejoice #185TextScoreFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal #80
نظم المرامير #274Page Scan
生命聖詩 - Hymns of Life, 1986 #98Text
Include 179 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us