The Funeral March

A funeral march is a musical work with a slow, stately pulse – typically in a minor key and in 4/4 time – imitating a funeral procession. While the specific origins of the funeral march are unknown, books of military music suggest that the earliest funeral marches were slow, simple beats kept on a large…

The Song of the Sun: “Solstice” by Amelia Chain

  How many pieces of music do you know that incorporate the actual sound of the sun into the work? Amelia Chain’s composition “Solstice” uses real recordings of our sun in the work (both as the inspiration and as a musical element). Chain was inspired to create the piece after talking to her daughter about…

About Ludovico Einaudi

Ludovico Einaudi. I’ve heard his name come up often over the last year or so, but for some reason I never listened to his music. That is until someone suggested I find something of his to play on the piano, and I was amazed. Einaudi creates his own unique, colorful world through his music, and…

What Does Christmas Music Mean to You?

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…

O Holy Night: An Amazing History

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…

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel: A History

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…

Carol of the Bells: A History

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…

What Child is This? A History

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…

Music Inspired by Winter: Tchaikovsky

It’s almost December! I hope you are all enjoying this season of love, family, and twinkling lights. 🙂 I personally love the cold weather – especially the snow and the music! And because Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” is a winter classic, that got me thinking. Has he written any other music inspired by winter? The answer is yes! So in…