Christmas Ukulele: Stille Nacht (Silent Night)

“Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht, alles schläft; einsam wacht nur das traute hochheilige Paar.”


The author

Franz Xaver Gruber
Franz Xaver Gruber (1787 – 1863)

Franz Xaver Gruber, was an Austrian primary school teacher and church organist in the village of Arnsdorf.

Born on November 25, 1787 in the village of Hochburg, Gruber worked as a weaver until the age of 18, then trained to become a schoolteacher.

He completed his music education studying with the church organist of Burghausen, Georg Hartdobler.

In 1807 became schoolteacher in Arnsdorf.

The piece

original score

“Silent Night” (in German: Stille Nacht) is a popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. The original manuscript has been lost. However, a manuscript was discovered in 1995 in Mohr’s handwriting and dated by researchers at ca. 1820.

It shows that Mohr wrote the words in 1816 when he was assigned to a pilgrim church in Mariapfarr, Austria, and shows that the music was composed by Gruber in 1818.

The version of the melody that is generally used today is a slow, meditative lullaby, differing slightly from Gruber’s original, which was a sprightly, dance-like tune in 6/8 time.

It was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011 and the lyrics and melody are in the public domain.

My arrangement

The original was in A, but for a better usage of the ukulele tuning I preferred transpose in C.

Here my ukulele version:

Ukulele score&tablature could be downloaded clicking the link below:


Published: December 15 2015