German Christmas Carols - Sheet Music and Arrangements

Apart from many new Christmas carols for children, most of the well-known German-language Christmas carols have a centuries-old history. Often they have been used in larger works such as Christmas cantatas, on this page you will mainly find various arrangements and collections.

The oldest German Christmas carols are transcriptions of Latin hymns and cantiones. Others go back to a folk variant of the typical medieval mysticism, which finds its expression in the custom of “Kindelwiegen”, which has been maintained until the 20th century.

Children or women, often nuns, cradeled a figure of baby Jesus in a crib and songs were sung, whose 3/4-rhythm represented the movement of the cradle. The popular “In dulci jubilo” probably originated in this environment.

In early modern times Martin Luther translated not only old Christmas songs but also created new ones, such as ’Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich herkommen’ or ’Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein’. In the Baroque, Christmas carols increasingly take on the character of personal piety, which is particularly well expressed in ’I stand’ at your manger here’.

It becomes even more emotional in the romantic 19th century, from which the most successful Christmas carol of all time originates: ’Silent Night, Holy Night’.

The most popular german carols: