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Joy to the World – With Manhattan Music Lessons

December 22, 2012 - Holidays

Make the most wonderful time of the year even better with Manhattan music lessons

In the small Austrian village of Oberndorf stands a little, quaint chapel. On a cold and snowy December day in 1818, a local minister and a schoolteacher wrote a song there, which was to be performed at the Christmas Eve Mass that year; it was entitled “Silent Night, Holy Night.” Since that day nearly 200 years ago, this song has been translated into nearly every language and has conquered the world.

Some three decades later, across the big pond, Edmund Hamilton Sears, an American Unitarian minister in Wayland, MA wrote a poem, which he called “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.” When the composer Richard Storrs Willis set it to music, it too had become a much-loved Christmas carol.

And in 1865, after a trip to the Holy Land, an Episcopalian rector Phillips Brooks wrote the words to “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” which was then set to music by his organist, Lewis Redner.

And here’s one more interesting tidbit, something you might not have known: James Lord Pierpont wrote “Jingle Bells” (originally called “One Horse Open Sleigh”) in 1857. Though it was intended as a Thanksgiving song, it had become associated with Christmas instead – perhaps because there isn’t much snow for horses to dash through in November.

Why are we bringing up these seemingly disparate pieces of information? Because, even though we tend to refer to these songs in general terms as “Christmas carols,” each one has its own unique history. But no matter how they came to be, they have survived and transcended centuries, and continue to bring us glad tidings each holiday season.

The happiest season of all

These and so many other songs that we sing or listen to year after year are an integral part of the Christmas celebrations.

Whether they are religious or secular, solemn or lighthearted, holiday songs have never lost their popularity or magic. The same old standards re-emerge each year, in good times and bad, among people of all age groups. There are some things that never change!
We bet that nearly everyone has his or her favorite Christmas song, even if it’s comical, like “Grandma Was Run Over by a Reindeer ” (seriously, how often does that happen?)
We hasten to say that choosing the all-time favorite holiday song is not a precise science (actually, it’s not a science at all), but just for the fun of it let it be known that the biggest selling Christmas single of all time is … TA DA!!!!…Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” More than 30 million copies have been sold in the past 58 years. Now, that’s what we call a classic! (Interestingly enough, this song was written by Irving Berlin, who was Jewish).
While we are on the subject of holiday music, you might be wondering what are some of the popular Hanukkah songs? We’ll give you a hint: a song called “Chanukah Bamba” is among the top 10, at least on this list:

Do you hear what I hear?

Whatever holiday songs are your favorite, we have good news for you: if you start learning to play an instrument or take voice lessons right now, by this time next year you’ll be able to play or sing Christmas carols for your friends and family.

Of course, playing an instrument or singing is an enjoyable and relaxing activity all year round, not just when it’s time to rock around the Christmas tree.

Our Manhattan music lessons make it easy and convenient: we will come to your home or office and teach you – comfort and joy all in one!


Photo credit: Kyle Taylor
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