The Evolution Of Christmas Music

The first sign of Christmas is the sound of music heard in stores and serenading callers on hold. No holiday celebration is complete without music. Listening to Bing Crosby’s White Christmas is as traditional as baking cookies, sending out holiday cards and decorating the tree.

Music has been a significant part of this holiday all the way back to the fourth century when medieval Christmas music consisted mostly of somber, religious songs sung in churches and cathedrals in the Gregorian tradition of the time. During the Renaissance era with its focus on the individual, the celebration of Jesus’ birth became a merrier occasion. These melodies are related to the carols sung around the world today. Carol comes from the French word caroler, meaning to dance in a ring. Nevertheless, the songs always featured religious themes and the lyrics were in Latin.

In 1818, an Austrian parish priest named Joseph Mohr wrote the world-renowned Silent Night and sang it for the first time in a church in Oberndorf, Austria. One of the most famous Christmas songs today, Silent Night has been translated into hundreds of languages.

Since then, writers and composers have created many kinds of Christmas music suited to every taste, whether it be rhythm and blues, jazz, gospel, or hip-hop. Most singers have recorded a favorite Christmas song, lending their own style to a familiar tradition. With so many choices of artists your collection of Christmas CDs can grow to be a large and costly investment. A simpler, more cost-effective solution is a compilation. Compilation CDs are great for those who enjoy a wide range of artists but prefer a particular genre. Instead of buying one CD with two favorite songs and too many mediocre ones, you can purchase a disc consisting entirely of the best singles. Compilations are also easier and less time consuming than downloading music from the Internet.

On www.timelife.com you can view the track listing of each CD and listen to an audio sample of any song. Listening to Perry Como, Dean Martin and Nat King Cole this December will evoke memories of holidays past and ensure a merry and nostalgic Christmas.

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