31. Christmas Music

31. Christmas Music

Christmas music in the form of carols, songs stringed or instrumental
renditions, is constantly heard during the Christmas season. Music forms the
background against which everything else takes place to make the Christmas
season different from all others. Christmas music plays such a significant role
that during the entire season, other popular music temporarily disappears from
radio. That may be the reason for all the different types of Christmas music -
sacred, secular, popular and traditional – that have emerged throughout the
years.
Popular and secular renditions of Christmas music has been developed by
musical artists and performers who ‘make over’ classic styles of Christmas music
with their own personal touch. One reason for popular make overs of Christmas
music may be because regular popular music is not heard during the holiday
season so pop musicians and artists do Christmas music to keep their voices
always in earshot of their fans and the general audience. It could also be that
they want to capitalize on the popularity of Christmas music.
Whatever the reason, it has become a trend for popular musical artists to
release new Christmas or holiday music albums during the season. Since variety
is the spice of life, it means there are more variations of secular, sacred,
classical or traditional and popular renditions of Christmas music that can be
heard.
Music at Christmas time is important to create the right mood. The
prevalence of Christmas music is what helps to create the special holiday type
of feeling or spirit that is present everywhere and among everyone. Everyone has
particular Christmas songs and carols that are favorites, maybe for the melody,
the lyrics or because they are reminders of special memories.
The most popular Christmas song is said to be ‘White Christmas,’ which is
popular even in warm and tropical climates where people sing of ‘dreaming of a
White Christmas,’ which in reality they would not want. Other popular Christmas
songs and carols are: Away in a Manger, which tells the Nativity story in song;
O Holy Night, Silent Night, Joy to the World, Hark the Herald Angels and Angels
we have Heard on High.
All of those songs are sacred and are all about the story of Jesus’ birth. Of
note also is Handel’s majestic ‘Hallelujah Chorus,’ which is a favorite that
choirs like to sing because of the splendor embodied in the music.
Nat King Cole’s ‘Chestnut Roasting On an Open Fire’ is a classical favorite. It
defies categorization as it isn’t sacred but is also not considered secular like
a song such as ‘Sleigh Ride.’ Among secular Christmas songs, there are also
funny ones such as ‘I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus Underneath the Mistletoe
Last Night’ and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The availability of a wide
Christmas music selection makes it possible to choose ones for different
occasions, such as for general use at home, for a fun or informal party or for a
formal dinner. As an example, selections can be made to create the right mood at
the start of a party, followed by more lively music when the party is in full
swing, and then selections to slow down the pace when the party is nearing its
end.
It’s also important to note that professional groups such as choirs, symphonies
and orchestras will also record performances of Christmas music on albums. For
the very serious and critical music aficionados, these albums will provide
wonderful listening pleasure and also make good Christmas presents. Listening to
music from those groups is also a way of enjoying their performances if doesn’t
get the opportunity to attend a live concert by the professional group.
Whatever selections of Christmas music are made however, it’s likely that it
will create a festive mood and spirit among all who hear or are listening to the
music.