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.