Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Carols of Christmas by Andrew Gant

The Carols of Christmas by Andrew Gant is a collection of 21 favorite Christmas carols and a history lesson of each.  Each song gets a short chapter.  The beginning of the book starts out with an introduction on the beginnings of Christmas carols in the first place-such as did you know that carols started out as not Christmas songs but rather songs of  any celebrations often with dancing.  Eventually they would be at least songs of winter celebrations.  Many of these started out as tunes without words previously composed by others.  This book takes the reader back in history way back often to the country of origin and then takes the reader through the various changes the tune as well as the words changed through the years.  Mr. Gant tells of some of the difficulties with translation into English had with rhyming as well as note matching.  Many of these famous Christmas songs were just familiar tunes often not even Christian songs.  Some started out as children's songs from the playground but others had origins in taverns while others were composed by famous composers.  Each chapter ends with the song's most familiar words and tune from present day. 

This book is a fairly in-depth history lesson of each Christmas carol.  This would be the perfect book for any musical person who is interested in the background of Christmas carols.  It is helpful to know some of the background of the language from which the song originated or possibly Latin as it shows some of the original words in the original language.  I liked this book though was surprised at how deep the book went into each song.  It would be a good book for doing easy research on familiar songs.
I received this book from BookLook for this review.

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