The tune used in this carol is believed to have originated in Germany, possibly around 1360. Latin words were later used with it in the Piae Cantiones, 1582, compiled by Theodoricus Petrus of Nyland in Finland.
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About Personent Hodie
This arrangement stays fairly true to the melody, which is presented in upper and lower strings groups. At letter C, the bass clef instruments play an elongated version of the melody while the upper strings contrast with scale-like passages. All parts can be played in first position, although the cello has several measures of divisi.
In the first section, the cellos can divide—the top part doubles the viola, and the lower part provides harmony. The piece runs for about two and a half minutes at the marked tempo.
About William E. Moats
William Moats graduated from Kent State University with a Music Education degree and Ball State University with a Master of Arts degree in Music. He was a member of two military bands, playing trombone and euphonium. As a band and orchestra director in Ohio, he taught in the Dayton Public Schools and the Trotwood-Madison City Schools.
Serving in Lutheran churches, he has directed various vocal, instrumental, and handbell choirs in Dayton, Ohio, and Birmingham, Alabama. Currently, he directs an adult vocal choir in Mechanicsville, Virginia. He has published handbell music, band, string orchestra, and brass chamber music with several publishers.
During his professional career, he has been a member of the Music Educator’s National Conference, Ohio Music Educators Association, Handbell Musicians of America (formerly AGEHR), and the American Federation of Musicians.