Personent hodie is a Christmas carol originally published in the 1582 Finnish song book Piae Cantiones, a volume of 74 Medieval songs with Latin texts collected by Jacobus Finno (Jaakko Suomalainen), a Swedish Lutheran cleric, and published by T.P. Rutha. A melody found in a 1360 manuscript from the nearby Bavarian city of Moosburg in Germany is highly similar, and it is from this manuscript that the song is usually dated. Later English words were added to the Latin.
James L. King III’s arrangement is bold, with plenty of fifths in the left hand to give a big sound without being too difficult. Students will get experience with shifting modal harmonies.
Key: D modal (Aeolian, Dorian, and Phrygian)
Mood: happy, festive
Pedagogy: Fifths, modes