There are many different melodies for "Away in a Manger" - I think I've heard more than 10 musical settings, including one in a minor key. This setting focuses on a "lullaby" feel that I think fits the lyrics. It is in 6/8 time to emphasize this – mostly presenting a two-pulse feel (back and forth, like rocking a baby) in two groups of three rather than a 3-beat feel; although the song is slow enough to direct the eighth notes.
The accompaniment works particularly well for harp, but is also great for piano. For accompanists, I recommend using the 8.5"x11" version that can be downloaded below and printed because it is larger and the music can lay flat so that there are no page turns.
The soprano part has a fairly high tessitura (range within which most notes of a vocal part fall), so it can be a little high for some sopranos. I'm reluctant to lower it because I like the Db and Eb keys for this song. After hearing a few choirs sing it, I think it is okay.
The 8.5"x11" SATB sheet music is available for free download, below, or the 6.875"x10.5" choir sheet music booklet can be purchased through the "Add to Cart" button above to the right. If more than one copy is desired, change the quantity and click "Update" after clicking on the "Add to Cart' button. Shipping & handling is calculated at the cart page based on location. USPS Priority Mail may be specified at checkout.
The audio recording (vocals by Matthew Curtis, piano by Fen Frehner) used in the semi-animated sheet-music video above is available for purchase at www.choraltracks.com, along with excellent rehearsal tracks (predominant, left-panned, and muted).
A small simple MIDI file that should play on most computers is included in the downloads area below.
Related: Christmas, carol, lullaby, cradle, Jesus Christ, William J. Kirkpatrick,