Futurity

Why Christmas music is wrapped in nostalgia

The nostalgia around Christmas music may explain why new original Christmas songs rarely make it big.

Love it or hate it, there’s no escaping it: From Thanksgiving to Christmas, the songs of the season are everywhere. Coffee shops, grocery stores, and entire radio stations dedicated to holiday songs make it seem like sleigh bells are endlessly ringing.

Music has long been part of the cultural phenomenon of Christmas, says Matthew Mugmon, assistant professor of music at the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music.

Christmas by no means has a monopoly on celebratory music, Mugmon points out. It’s also important part of the Hindu festival of Vasant Panchami, the Chinese New Year, and Hanukkah. But Christmas, and the winter season around it, may get the most musical attention.

“In terms of sheer volume, perhaps there’s no holiday worldwide with more music than Christmas, which owes something to the cultural and commercial machinery behind the holiday,” Mugmon says.

Here, Mugmon talks about the origins and enduring appeal of Christmas music—and why it’s rare for new original Christmas songs to ever make it big.

The post Why Christmas music is wrapped in nostalgia appeared first on Futurity.

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