Sheet Music

Deck The Halls Piano Tutorial & Sheet Music

By Jesse Preis
Deck the Halls

Free “Deck The Halls” piano sheet music you can download from the Hoffman Academy Store!

Are you ready to add a holiday classic to your piano repertoire? In this article, you will learn the history of “Deck the Halls”, be able to download the sheet music to this beautiful Christmas carol, and learn to play it yourself. We provide sheet music and video tutorials for this song for both early beginners and more advanced beginners. Read on to learn more!

Looking for the perfect Christmas sheet music collection for beginning piano players? Make merry music this holiday season with Hoffman Academy’s Christmas Favorites for Piano available in the Hoffman Academy Store (free download for Premium members)! Choose your level, Early Elementary (Units 1-4) or Elementary (Units 5-8).

The story behind “Deck the Halls”

“Deck the Halls” (originally titled in English as “Deck the Hall”) was traditionally a Welsh New Year’s Eve carol named “Nos Galan” which translates to “New Year.” This song dates back to the sixteenth century. To hear the traditional Welsh lyrics and learn more about its history and translation, watch this video from the Rehoboth Welsh Choir: 

The Welsh lyrics by poet Talhaiarn (known in English as John Jones) translate this way:

The best pleasure on New Year’s Eve,

Is house and fire and a pleasant family,

A pure heart and blonde ale,

A gentle song and the voice of the harp.

 In 1862, Scottish musician Thomas Oliphant wrote English-language lyrics to the same melody and placed the song firmly in the English Christmas tradition. 

The English lyrics have gone through many changes over the years, so the version that we are familiar with today isn’t exactly the same as Thomas Oliphant’s version. Below are the lyrics that most of us know today. 

  1. Deck the halls with boughs of holly, 

Fa la la la la la la la la

‘Tis the season to be jolly,

Fa la la la la la la la la

Don we now our gay apparel,

Fa la la la la la la la la

Troll the ancient Yuletide carol.

Fa la la la la la la la la

  1. See the blazing yule before us,

Strike the harp and join the chorus.

Follow me in merry measure,

While I tell of Yuletide treasure.

  1. Fast away the old year passes,

Hail the new, ye lads and lasses!

Sing we joyous all together,

Heedless of the wind and weather.

Did you know?

Yuletide is an alternate name for the Christmas season that comes from Old English.

What does “Deck the Halls” mean? 

“To deck” means “to decorate” and “halls” can be thought of as an old-fashioned term for rooms. So, “decking the halls” would mean to decorate the rooms of your home.

How do you play Deck the Halls on the piano?

This super easy version of our “Deck the Halls” piano tutorial is appropriate for students in Units 3 through 9. The music is free for download from the Hoffman Academy website, which you can find here.

Getting started: 

  • To play this version of “Deck the Halls”, make sure both hands are in the correct positions.
  • The right hand will be placed with your thumb on the treble staff D, which is immediately to the right of middle C. 
  • The left hand’s thumb will be placed on middle C. If the thumbs are almost touching, your hands are most likely in the correct positions.
  • Make sure that as you play this song, you’re playing with the correct rhythms. 
    • Notice that “Deck the Halls” has a 4/4 time signature and that it begins with this rhythm: a dotted-quarter note followed by a single flagged eighth note. This rhythm shows up several times within this song. The dot stretches the first quarter note out an extra half of a beat and the flagged eighth note takes the second half of that beat. Listen to Mr Hoffman say this rhythm in the video and repeat after him until you’ve got it.
  • A couple other important things to note as you work on this song: 
    • There are F sharps that appear throughout the song, so don’t forget them.
    • Make sure that the notes that have staccatos (the dots that appear above or below the notes) are short and bouncy!

Watch Mr Hoffman’s video below!

If the super easy version is too easy for you, try the Level 2 version. This easy version of the “Deck the Halls” piano tutorial is appropriate for students in Units 9 and up. The sheet music is also free for download from the Hoffman Academy website, which you can access by clicking here.

  • In this version, both hands are in the C major position. The left hand will play I and V7 chords, so be ready for them when they appear.
  • There are F sharps and F naturals in this version, so always be careful to make sure that you are playing the correct note!

To get started, join Mr Hoffman in this video below!

You are now ready to practice and play “Deck the Halls”! To review this section and learn more of this fun and popular song, feel free to watch the Hoffman Academy videos as many times as you need. Have fun, Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year!!

Choose your level of our “Deck the Halls” piano tutorial and download your music to start learning now:


Discover more great piano sheet music for all levels at the Hoffman Academy Store!

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