What Does Christmas Music Mean to You?

Merry Christmas Piano Sheet Music

cozy nights by the fire. family. happiness, peace, and redemption. the first snowfall. good food. smiles. worship to God. the excitement of Christmas Eve night. self reflection. opening presents. hot chocolate (bonus points for whipped cream). laughter til your side aches. matching pajamas and twinkling lights. decorating the Christmas tree. wrapping paper. home alone (the […]

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O Holy Night: An Amazing History

O Holy Night at the Piano

French Origins It’s winter, 1847. In a small French town, Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure – wine commissioner and poet instead of church-goer – pens a poem for Christmas Mass, as requested by the local priest. Using the Bible as his guide, Cappeau imagined what it would be like to witness Jesus on the night of […]

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O Come, O Come, Emmanuel: A History

Christmas Piano Music

Before “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” was translated into English, this special Christmas hymn – originally in Latin – was born out of O Antiphons: a set of monasteric chants sung the week before Christmas as early as the 9th century. O Antiphons The O Antiphons are a set of chants used at Vespers (sunset/evening prayer) during […]

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The Christmas Song: A History

The Christmas Song Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Picture this: it’s blistering hot, the middle of summer (1945). What do you do to stay cool? You think cool thoughts, of course. That’s what songwriters Bob Wells and Mel Tormé did, and that’s how The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) was born. Tormé said of the event: “I saw a spiral pad on […]

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Carol of the Bells: A History

Carol of the Bells Ukrainian Folk Song

One of the most recognizable Christmas tunes of all time is Carol of the Bells. However, the signature four-note melody, appropriately bell-like in sound and movement, has some surprising origins. Believe it or not, Carol of the Bells was not originally a Christmas song at all. Based on folk music, Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych wrote the original […]

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God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen: A History

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is one of the oldest existing Christmas carols. Yep, you read that correctly. Dated back to the 1500s and earlier, this English carol has actually gone through a lot of change and misinterpretation over the years. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” was written as a reaction to 15th century church music. […]

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What Child is This? A History

Gerard van Honthorst - Adoration of the Shepherds (1622)

One of the most beautiful and recognizable Christmas songs is “What Child is This?”. Believe it or not, the tune – an English folk song called “Greensleeves” – first appeared in the year 1580 (of course back then it was called “A Newe Northen Dittye of ye Ladye Greene Sleves”). Originally the lyrics were about […]

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O Come All Ye Faithful: A History (and FREE piano sheet music!)

O Come All Ye Faithful

Merry Christmas! Yes I know it’s still November, but I believe Jesus’s birth is something to be thankful for. 🙂 I’m celebrating a lot of things right now including (but not limited to) Thanksgiving, Christmas, family, and the opportunity to do what I love all the time – learn and write about, compose, and perform […]

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I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day: A History

I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play,           and wild and sweet           The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom           Had […]

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The First Noel: A History

The First Noel: A History

This week I’d like to talk about another favorite Christmas carol, The First Noel.   The origin of the melody is unknown, although historians know the tune dates back to at least the 17th century. Some even argue it originated in France during the 15th century and was brought to England in the 17th century by […]

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