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For Unto Us a Child is Born

For Unto Us a Child Is Born

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While reading the scriptures, I came to the famous verse, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.".  I started thinking about how I would treat that text musically.  I liked the idea of having two sections (compared to Handel's three sections).  The first section would be a humble treatment of the birth of Jesus Christ, and the second section would be a royal and majestic treatment of what He would become; and the "Government" phrase would somewhat tie the two sections together.

In the first section, the phrases are repeated, with the second instance somewhat conveying the amazement that this was done "unto us".  Be careful not to sing “unto wus”, and my notation implies closing the “s” on “us” (or doing a glottal-stop in some instances).

In the second section, some commonality exists with the first section, but the flavor is intended to be quite different.  I wanted to give each of the titles special treatment, and I wanted the last title to contrast back down to a personal, peaceful title.  In addition to the special treatment, you might notice that there is some escalating variation in the four instances of the titles.  In doing some research I found that there is quite a bit of discussion questioning how accurate the translations of these titles are and whether Isaiah only intended 3 or 4 titles, but in any case these 5 titles are fitting so I have no problem using them.
The accompaniment is for piano, or piano and harp, plus optional (but preferred) organ.  If both piano and harp are playing, the harp should play the first Section One accompaniment.  The introduction, interludes, and conclusion should be done on harp, also, but because the fingering is difficult, can be simplified by the harp playing only the treble clef and the piano assisting by playing the bass clef plus the vertically-corresponding treble-clef notes.  The organ part is preferred to help make the second section more full, giving it more contrast compared to the first section.

The 8.5"x11" sheet music is available for free download below, and the choral booklet may be purchased through the "Add to Cart" button above to the right. To purchase more than one copy, change the quantity and click "Update" after clicking the "Add to Cart" button.  A separate organ part is also available by request with the printed copies.  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) is playable with the YouTube semi-animated sheet music video above; and is available for purchase at, along with excellent rehearsal tracks (predominant, left-panned, and muted).  An accompaniment-only soundtrack is also available – contact me, if interested.

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Tags: new, original, music, multitrack, Christmas, choral, choir, piano, beautiful, pretty, SATB, SSAATTBB, Jesus, Christ, handel, modern, classic, animated, sheet music, Messiah