1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Song List
  4.  » What Sound Upon the Midnight Air?

What Sound Upon the Midnight Air?

About the Song

This is a rather grand Christmas anthem, and sounds best with a large choir. The women’s parts divide, though the Tenor and Bass parts do not. There’s a lot of counter motion in the vocals, which gives you a chance to have some fun with dynamics.  

This song is part of the “In Him We Live” cantata.


What sound upon the midnight air
O’er Bethlehem is ringing?
The echo of an anthem fair
In answer to an ageless prayer
The angels joyful tidings bear
And cannot cease from singing:
Gloria in excelsis Deo
And on the earth be peace,
Good will toward men

What light hath rent the midnight sky,
From realms celestial springing?
O’er Judah mighty legions fly
Ablaze in glory from on high
Creation trembles at their cry
And cannot cease from singing:
Gloria in excelsis Deo
And on the earth be peace,
Good will toward men

Sing gloria, ye men and angels mingling
Abide in peace
Good will increase
And never cease from singing
Gloria in excelsis Deo

If you have questions, please check the FAQ
If you don't find your answer there, feel free to post your question here. 🙂


  1. Steve Danielson

    I have an older version of this song that doesn’t have the repeat added in the second ending. This newer version has the same notes, but the measure numbers don’t line up if I’m using both versions (which I am currently). A tad frustrating, but we’ve made it work. Just wanted to note that in case someone else comes up against the same issue.

    Other than that, it’s one of my favorite pieces from you! Well done!

  2. Sarah Beth Rogers

    This is my very favorite choir song! I would love it if you ever get a recording on here. 😉

  3. Christine Tonks

    Sally – I absolutely love What Sound Upon the Midnight Air but it is too complicated for my choir. Have you ever done a pared down version of it? Maybe simply SATB with a little lower range. My sopranos top out at an F, and even that frightens them:) I would so love to do it for Christmas this year.

    Thank you for continuing to share your talents!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Don't see what you want here? Try one of these great sites:

  • Sheet Music Plus

    They have just about everything, secular and sacred–usually at a discount.

  • Free Sacred Sheet Music

    Free, downloadable religious music. 4500+ selections. Publish your own music there as well!

(Affiliate links. Use them if you’d like to help fund this site.)