Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year when people often stay at home and have a good time with their family. There are so many interesting activities in this occasions, each one has its own meaning, and the most meaningful one is singing Christmas carols. You know that the Christmas is coming when hearing the voices in churches and on the streets singing melodies and songs to celebrate Christmas. They are loved to be everyone by its gentle, and beautiful tunes as well as the spirit of the songs – so inspiring and emotional. People love carols as much as Christmas. That’s the reason why they are sung every winter each time Christmas comes and becomes a signal symbol of it.
So you’ve many carols songs, but do you know much about this traditional type of music? If you don’t, this is the article you should take a look to accumulate more knowledge. Now let’s get started!
Normally, Christmas carols singing is a type of tradition which occurs from 21st December which is the St Thomas day till Christmas morning – the end of Christmas.
How much do you know about carol singing?
Basically, almost anyone knows the word carol, but not many people really understand the origin of this word. From a long time ago, the word carol which was a French and Anglo – Norman origin word was used widely to refer to the term of “a dance or a song which helps people to feel happy”. The word “carol” is often used today to say about Christmas songs from the church or street corners in this time of the year
Where do carols come from?
Interestingly, carols were not associated with Christmas like today from the beginning. At first, they were used by pagan worship songs in Europe. This period lasted for so long, maybe thousands of years ago. At the annual Winter Solstice occasions, people often sang the carols while dancing around the stone circles.
People from ancient time wrote and sung carols to celebrate all four seasons, however, the other three disappeared through times and only songs and singing tradition during the Winter Solstice remained. Later, it is used mostly and mainly at Christmas – which occurs at the same period of time annually – just like old times.
People often sing carols to celebrate the occasions and wish for luck and peace as they write in their songs. That’s why the lyrics and the melody are so mild and precise.
The earliest carols in the world
The first carols were written and sung long before this type of traditional music was associated with Christmas. In Rome, when the official religion was Christianity, the Christian songs replaced the Winter Solstice celebrations since the change in the religion following by the disappearance of songs written by began with heavy overtones.
In 129 AD, with the appearance of the Christian song named “Angle’s Hymn” which was sung at a Christmas service by the orders of the Bishop of Rome, the composers started to follow the trend and wrote more song in this type. Since then, the carols were popular and sung more in churches.
However, since the language difference, not many people know about these songs since they were written and sung in Latin.
It was in that situations until the changes made by St. Francis of Assisi. It was such an evolution in the appearance of carols that turned things around significantly. In 1223, with the changes in the Nativity Plays in Italy in “canticles” sung by actors, the songs were sung in the language that was easy to understand. The plays then received many interests from the audience though some parts such as the choruses still had to play in Latin so as to keep the original melody and meaning.
As a good result, people started to follow this type of song composing to gain more audience and help people understand carols. Since people knew more about the meaning and the enchanting melody of carols, the song then spread quickly among European countries such as France, Spain, Germany and so on.
Instruments used in Christmas carols
Normally, the Christmas carols consist of many different types of musical instruments, but there are some rules as well. Since the melodies and the lyrics of the carols are based on Medieval tunes, the instruments are the same.
Basically, the string family and the brass family instruments are used mostly since they can create gentle and tender feeling for the audience. Of course in some songs, musicians can use the happy and effervescent tone to boost the spirit of the song.
You can see in most street bands playing Christmas carols, they use the Jazz and Soul styles to make the music more interesting and faster. That’s the reason why drums and trumpets are used commonly in this type of carol performance. In addition, the songs are mostly common and don’t have lyrics so that people can sing along and feel happy and cheerful.
Sometimes, the street carol singing doesn’t require any musical instruments. Singers from the church will rehearse and perform their carol songs without using any types of instrument. It would be such an exciting performance for people to see at least once in a lifetime. If you travel to any European countries on this occasion, you can experience it easily on streets.
There are many things about Christmas carols that you should know apart from things that I’ve shown you in this article, however, you should go out and enjoy your Christmas time and listen to a carol to actually understand the beauty of this traditional type of music. To search for some common carol songs, please visit our website about Christmas and Christmas Eve decorations to find out some amazing performances made by well – known artists in the world. And don’t forget to gather with your family and have a happy Christmas. This is the most important occasion in the year to celebrate with your friends and relatives, and maybe sing carols together.