Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Song, Revisited (sheet music!)

Ok, so in putzing around trying to find a way to put music here, I found a wonderful way to procrastinate! Finale NotePad has a 30-day trial period that is fully functional--with enough patience, a non-composer like myself was able to pretty much get my song down the way I hear it in my head... and a few other ways besides! (I did it the easy way--wrote it in C, then cut and pasted it into G, which apparently is the key I sing it in.) I think the Finale people have a place where they host people's compositions, so perhaps I will put mine there, but I wanted (mostly for Kevin and Glenn, who asked) to put up the music before it is too late. Of course it is not quite the arrangement I hear, but I finally figured out what that arrangement would be--there is an album by jazz trumpeter Chase Sanborn, a small group with a woman vocalist; that is the sound I hear this song in. Oh, well.

This is just the main body of the song--the intro isn't finished (I may edit it in later). Click for a more readable size. (UPDATE: In the comments, a PDF of the song, courtesy of the kind and talented AnthonyB.)

Oh, yeah, the other verses again:

(actual song)
Christmas is the time when I can say to you “I love you”
Kiss you if the mistletoe is hanging right above you
All through the year,
my friend we’ve grown near
And now when I see you this Christmas, it’s clear

I want to be more than friends this Christmas
I want to be closer than ever before
I want to be more than friends this Christmas
That’s what this Christmas is for.

Christmas is the time to cuddle up beside the fire
Feel the kind of love that only Christmas can inspire
Outside there’s snow,
but in here, a glow
And I’m warm when I’m with you, and that’s how I know:


Christmas is the time to hear the carols sung so sweetly
Let the magic of the season fill your heart completely
Love is brand new,
and wishes come true
I’ve just one wish this Christmas, and that wish is you:


Christmas is the time to walk the snowy world together
Face the coming year as boldly as we face the weather
Come and be strong
and join in my song
And the love that is Christmas can last the year long



Anonymous said...

Whoot! That is so nifty. :)

Scientia Pro Publica said...

that is very sweet, now all i have to do is find someone to sing that song to!


Bob O'Hara said...

Grrl - you'll need someone in a country with snow.

Cuttlefish said...

Yeah, it is a snow-biased song, I admit. Having shoveled 8 inches of it out of my driveway (and a chunk of my neighbor's as well) this morning, I am accustomed to thinking of the season as a snowy one.

Bob O'Hara said...

Ah, you don't live in England then. Or Helsinki, come to that.

AnthonyB said...

I started working on a pdf version of this which will beat those silly sheet music images.

The current progress doesn't have all the lyrics finished and I've not really checked out to be sure all the notes are even correct but here's the current version:

Christmas Song PDF Sheet music

Music typesetting thanks to Lilypond. No worries about a trial version here, just free open source music typesetting at work!

I'll publish the lilypond source file itself when I'm done typesetting.

Cuttlefish said...

Wow! That's so cool! Thanks!!!!

Remember, I am no musician, and if you (who, evidence suggests, are) think you have a better arrangement, then you probably do! (Heck, I have a completely different arrangement, in C, for Salvation Army Brass Band!-like I said, it was fun toying around with that software!)

Cuttlefish said...

Oh, and Anthony? Is it a fairly simple matter to drop the voice an octave? Or is it just me that is bothered by that? It sounds ok on the computer, but for a human being, where it is is rather... chipmunky.

AnthonyB said...

Lowing the voice down an octave is fairly easy.

I just change the \relative c''' line to \relative c'' for the part that holds the notes for the Voice. :)

In lilypond terms, c' is middle c.

As far as myself...I'm not really a musician. I picked up the piano just about a year ago now. I pretty much just decided to typset this piece because I've not worked with lyrics in lilypond before so I felt like giving it a shot.

I updated the pdf and also updated the source file that I created for the sheet music.

I'm not sure if I actually got all the lyrics in the proper places or not or with all the proper lines and such everywhere but I just tried to make them line up and didn't bother trying to sing it to be sure everything was actually correct. ;)

Trying to converse other changes over comments might get tedious though...

Updated files found here:

Link to PDF as well as source file

Cuttlefish said...


Now I have to find the Lilypond software! (I did see 2 places where a word was off, but anyone trying to sing it would self-correct immediately, I would think.)

Thank you so much! It looks so... real! That has never happened to one of my songs before!

(...sheesh. I never thought of myself as one to use a lot of exclamation points before...)

AnthonyB said...

Just head off to Lilypond website

I did use one of the latest development versions to write that file, but they're almost ready to make that version a release version anyway.

On an unrelated note, I'm about ready to go crazy as my dsl connection is going up and down like a damn yo-yo. I'm not sure if it's a problem with the lines in the house or not as I don't really feel like heading outside and checking the phone line at the interface box due to snow, cold and high winds at the moment. For all I know, the box out there is full of snow. :)

AnthonyB said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jared said...

XKCD has a cuttlefish comic today.

Johnny Vector said...

Heh. I always write in C (cause hey, all white keys!) and then capo it up to where I can sing it. Also I always write too low to start with, cause I can go a lot lower when only I have to hear me, in a quiet room.

This is where being a real musician would be helpful, but maybe it's more fun if you have to work at it...