Friday, December 19, 2008

The Music of Christmas

Music During the Christmas Holidays

During the Christmas holidays, music in a variety of forms is popular world wide. From traditional Christmas carols or songs to instrumental versions and related movie themes, music is very much a part of the Christmas holday season celebrations. The music of the Christmas holidays forms such an important role that during the holiday season other forms of popular music temporarily disappear from radios, musaks and background music heard in stores, private offices, public transportation systems and other public venus. Many different types of Christmas music from religiously-based forms to popular vocals, traditionals and classical versions pervade the air from after the Thanksgiving holiday until just after the New Year.

Adaptations of Popular Christmas Music

Christmas music has been adapted by musical artists and performers who re-record classic types of Christmas music with their own personal style. Perhaps a reason for adaptations of popular Christmas music is that most other genres of popular music are not commonly broadcast or played during the Christmas holiday season, so pop, rock and other genre musicians perform their own versions of Christmas music to keep up their own “air time” and popularity with the general public. Popular, contemporary musicians also be want to take advantage of Christmas music’s popularity. It is now a regular trend for popular music performers like Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey to release new Christmas holiday music albums during the season. Variety is the spice of life, as they say, which typically means that there are new renditions of secular, sacred, classical or traditional and popular renditions of Christmas music each holiday season.

Christmas music is used to create a holiday mood. Christmas music helps to promote the holiday feeling or spirit that pervades everywhere and almost everyone. Each of us has our own Christmas holiday favorites when it comes to music. Some like traditional Christmas carols. Others like the instrumental versions of holiday music, while there are those who look forward to new releases of holiday favorites my music artists each year. Christmas songs and carols often bring back special memories of past holiday seasons.

Popular Christmas Songs

The world’s most popular Christmas song is “White Christmas” (both Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra had popular versions) which strangely, is popular even in tropical climates like those in Latin America, where people dream of a “white Christmas” even though it never snows where they live. Some additional popular Christmas songs are: “Away in a Manger”, “O Holy Night”, “Silent Night”, “Joy to the World”, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Angels We Have Heard on High”, which all relate the story of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, in one musical form or another.

In the traditional classical music genre, Handel's majestic “Hallelujah Chorus” is a popular favorite that choirs like to sing owing to the splendor, magnificence and majesty of the chorus.

Nat King Cole

One popular music favorite of note is jazz pianist and pop singer Nat King Cole (pictured above) singing “Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire”. He was a top-rated musician of the 1940s, 50s and early 1960s. Although not categorized as Christmas music per se, it has become a holiday music tradition in many countries, even non-English speaking ones. There are several songs which are humourous in nature, two examples are “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth

So relax and enjoy the music of the Christmas holiday season. You’ll hear these songs and your favorites only during this special time of the year. Listen to Nat King Cole sing his most famous Christmas song in the video below.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 135 countries worldwide. Get your FREE, pdf format report on CD or via e-mail, "If You Want to Teach English Abroad, Here’s What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at:

1 comment:

Lucy said...

Thank you for this very interesting post. Music sets the stage for this wonderful time of year. It's a way for everyone to connect; language barriers come's a universal language.