- Written by Chad Criswell
Based on an old Swedish folk melody, Carl Boberg penned the lyrics to the hymn, How Great Thou Art in 1885. Since then the hymn has become one of the most well known and cherished Christian hymnsongs in the world. This page contains links to PDF versions of How Great Thou Art arranged for common concert band instruments as well as vocalists. The vocal part includes all of the accepted verses to the song.
Lyrics and Sheet Music To How Great Thou Art Are Provided Farther Down The Page.
Information on the origin and inspiration for How Great Thou Art:
(courtesy of Wikipedia- used under Creative Commons Licensing)
Carl Boberg wrote the poem "O Store Gud" (O Great God) in 1885 with nine verses.
The inspiration for the poem came when Boberg was walking home from church near KronobÃ¤ck, Sweden, and listening to church bells. A sudden awe-inspiring storm gripped Bobergâ€™s attention, and then just as suddenly as it had made its violent entrance, it subsided to a peaceful calm which Boberg observed over Monsteras Bay. According to J. Irving Erickson:
Carl Boberg and some friends were returning home to Minster's from Kronobuck, where they had participated in an afternoon service. Nature was at its peak that radiant afternoon. Presently a thundercloud appeared on the horizon, and soon sharp lightning flashed across the sky. Strong winds swept over the meadows and billowing fields of grain. The thunder pealed in loud claps. Then rain came in cool fresh showers. In a little while the storm was over, and a rainbow appeared.
According to Boberg's great-nephew, Bud Boberg, "My dad's story of its origin was that it was a paraphrase of Psalm 8 and was used in the 'underground church' in Sweden in the late 1800s when the Baptists and Mission Friends were persecuted." The author, Carl Boberg himself gave the following information about the inspiration behind his poem:
"It was that time of year when everything seemed to be in its richest colouring; the birds were singing in trees and everywhere. It was very warm; a thunderstorm appeared on the horizon and soon thunder and lightning. We had to hurry to shelter. But the storm was soon over and the clear sky appeared.
"When I came home I opened my window toward the sea. There evidently had been a funeral and the bells were playing the tune of 'When eternity's clock calling my saved soul to its Sabbath rest.' That evening, I wrote the song, 'O Store Gud.'
How Great Thou Art- Free Sheet Music For All Concert Band Instruments
The sheet music to How Great Thou Art provided below is arranged in the key of B-Flat Concert. Parts are provided in playable ranges for all common brass instruments and woodwind concert band instruments as well as voice. If you do not see the instrument you are searching for in the list simply take a look at any of the other parts. Chances are very likely that one of the provided parts will be in a playable range for your instrument even if it is not on the official list.
If you want to play the song as a duet with different instruments download the zip file at the bottom of the list.
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Any arrangements written by Chad Criswell and MusicEdMagic.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. There is no charge for these materials, but educational institutions that use them in their classrooms are asked to provide a link either in their printed concert programs or on their school web site linking to MusicEdMagic.com.
How Great Thou Art - Lyrics
O mighty God, when I survey in wonder
The world that formed when once the word you said,
The strands of life all woven close together,
The whole creation at your table fed,
My soul cries out in songs of praise to you,
O mighty God! O mighty God! (repeat)
When your voice speaks in rolls of thunder pealing,
Your lightning power bursts in bright surprise;
When cooling rain, your gentle love revealing,
Reflects your promise, arcing through the skies.
The Bible tells the story of your blessing
So freely shed upon all human life;
Your constant mercy, every care addressing,
relieving burdened souls from sin and strife.
And when at last, the clouds of doubt dispersing,
You will reveal what we but dimly see;
With trumpet call, our great rebirth announcing,
we shall rejoin you for eternity.