In The Bleak Mid-Winter: Mastering Christmas Carols on the Piano and Keyboard


Check out our complete series on mastering Christmas Carols on Piano and Keyboard.

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This guide will show you how to play simple arrangements of “In The Bleak Mid-Winter”.

In the Bleak Mid-Winter: Introduction

Here, In The Bleak Mid-Winter is written and played in the key of C Major, and has a 4/4 time signature.

In the Bleak Mid-Winter: Main Melody

Notice that the song is constructed from three similar-sounding phrases and a distinct melodic passage.

Bars 1-4 (line 1), 5-8 (line 2) and 13-16 (line 4) are all very similar (lines 2 and 4 are identical) but have a couple of differences.

For example, notice the difference in notes and timing between bar 3 and 7.

Here are the melody notes you need to play:

E F G E | D C | D E D A | D
E F G E | D C | D E D C | C
F E F G | A A E | G E D C | B
E F G E | D C | D E D C | C

Here’s the complete melody written out:

In The Bleak Mid-Winter melody score

(Download this as a PDF file)

Here’s what it sounds like:

Listen

In the Bleak Mid-Winter: Single Note Bass Line

Below is a simple bass line for the song using just one note at a time. Most of the time you simply play a whole note (semibreve) per bar, with the exception of bars 7, 11 and 15 where you play two half notes (minims).

Here’s the printed music:

In The Bleak Mid-Winter bass line score

Continued below...

(Download this as a PDF file)

And here’s what it sounds like:

Listen

In the Bleak Mid-Winter: Bass Line and Chords

Here’s a full-blown version of In The Bleak Mid-Winter with right-hand chords.

Here’s the printed music:

In The Bleak Mid-Winter chords

(Download this as a PDF file)

And here’s what it sounds like:

Listen

In the Bleak Mid-Winter: Lyrics

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;
heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
but his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him: give my heart.

We hope you found this guide useful. Feel free to leave comments below if you have any questions or suggestions.