The extend, to which the Christmas carol "Silent Night! Holy Night" has been explored scientifically and the numerous museums and memorial sites connected with this carol are unique in music history.
Scientists believe, that the lyrics of the song (6 verses) had already been written by Joseph Mohr in 1816 as a poem. Joseph Mohr lived in Mariapfarr then. The language has been characterized as "highly artistic" rather then "folkloristic" and the music by Franz Xaver Gruber follows roots of sizilian music (Pastorals) rather then the alpine folklore.
Today we know about eight handwritten originals from the creators of this carol, eventhough not all of them still exist. The very first original of December 24th 1818 in D-major (6/8) for two solo voices, a choir and guitar has not been found yet. The existing autographs are kept in the "Stille Nacht Archiv" in Hallein and in Salzburg's Museum Carolinum Augusteum.