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The First Noel: FREE Piano Sheet Music (Easy to Advanced!)

the first noel

Looking for free The First Noel piano sheet music? Here are 4 arrangements to try, no matter your level! The First Noel is a lovely Christmas carol, perfect for playing at a holiday recital, or maybe even a hymn sing. Below you can find 4 different versions of the hymn in the form of PDF piano solos!

Keep reading for the history and tips on playing the First Noel, or scroll down for the sheet music download buttons.

How Do You Play The First Noel On The Piano?

Like most songs, the First Noel can be played in a variety of different ways on the piano. In the following arrangments, you’ll see a few different things.

For the easy version, you’ll play it with block chords in the left hand, and a simple melody in the right hand. In the intermediate version, we’ll add a slightly harder left hand part with more intervals in the right hand.

And finally, for the advanced version, we’ll go all out with a flowing, beautiful piano solo of the First Noel!

But of course, there are even MORE ways to play this song too. I’ve heard versions that are all jazzed up, for example as well.

Who Wrote The First Noel?

Like many other Christmas carols (like O Come O Come Emmanuel), the First Noel seems to have originated from Medieval times, dating back to the 13th or 14th century.

Among the first publications of this song was Carols Ancient and Modern (in 1823) and Gilbert and Sandys Carols (in 1833).

The melody of The First Noel has been somewhat controversial, with some people disliking it. It does, in fact, repeat more than most carols do. Nevertheless, Sir John Stainer, who lived from 1840–1901, standardized the melody we know today (UMC Discipleship).

More Piano Sheet Music:

The First Noel Chords/Key

I chose to arrange The First Noel in the standard keys of C and D. For the easiest arrangement, I will provide PDFs in both C major AND D major.

For the intermediate and advanced version, I limited the sheet music to the key of D, since these levels should be able to easily handle this key. 😉

What chords will you need to know?

Well, it depends on the version you choose. I kept the easy version VERY simple. You’ll just need to know C major, F major, and E minor (D major, G major, and F# minor for the other key).

For the intermediate and advanced versions, I added more chords so the harmony would sound richer. Think chords like B minor, A major/A7, F#m/A, D/F#.

Tips For Playing The First Noel On Piano

As you learn this song, you’ll want to focus on dynamics among other things. Here are some tips that might be helpful:

  • Make sure your right hand is always louder than the left hand. Remember, left hand is the accompiament. We want to really hear the melody shine over that!
  • Don’t forget to analyze the chords! It is always helpful if you actually understand what you’re playing. Figure out the chords and write them down above the measures.
  • Practice this song with AND without the pedal! I do recommend that when you perform it, that you use pedal. But while practicing, you’ll want to do both. Taking away the pedal helps reveal your mistakes so you can fix them.
  • Don’t forget about dynamics! The ending of the First Noel is meant to be big and triumphant, so the whole song should be building toward this!

The First Noel Piano Sheet Music PDFs

Let’s get right into the downloads now, so you can start learning the First Noel right away, just in time for Christmas!

Beginner Version

You will find downloads for the easy version in 2 keys: C major, and D major. They are identical arrangements, just in different keys. Use the C version if you are still getting used to playing in the key of C and aren’t ready to move on yet. If you want a little more of a challenge, try the key of D.

the first noel easy piano sheet music c major
the first noel easy piano sheet music d major

Intermediate Version

If you are an intermediate pianist and the easy version looks too simple, try this version! You’ll get to challenge yourself by playing a more intricate left hand, with just a few added intervals in the right hand to make it sound fuller. Enjoy!

the first noel intermediate piano sheet music

Advanced Version

Finally, if you’re ready to go all out and you’ve been playing for a long time, the Advanced version might be for you! This is the way I play the First Noel all the time as an advanced pianist. I basically took my improv on the song and wrote it down for you! You will find richer harmonies and a bigger, chordal ending in this download.

the first noel advanced piano sheet music

Full Lyrics

Verse 1
The First Noel the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep

Chorus
Noel Noel Noel Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Verse 2
And by the light of that same star
Three Wise men came from country far
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star wherever it went

Chorus
Noel Noel Noel Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Verse 3
This star drew nigh to the northwest
O’er Bethlehem it took it’s rest
And there it did both Pause and stay
Right o’er the place where Jesus lay

Chorus
Noel Noel Noel Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Verse 4
Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind hath bought

Final Chorus
Noel Noel Noel Noel
Born is the King of Israel!
Noel Noel Noel Noel
Born is the King
Born is the King
Born is the King of Israel!

Conclusion

The First Noel is a well-loved Christmas carol. I’ve loved this song my whole life and I’m excited I get to share free sheet music to it now! I hope you enjoy the downloads and are able to play the First Noel successfully for family and friends this Christmas.