Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Monday 26 February |
Saint of the Day: St. Alexander of Alexandria
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

There’s a secret to what makes Christmas music sound “Christmassy” (VIDEO)

Sophia Swinford - published on 12/18/17

Have you ever wondered why some songs just sound like the holiday season?
Without donors, Aleteia's future is uncertain.
Join our Lenten Campaign 2024.

There are some Christmas classics that have defined the season for what feels like forever: “White Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Christmas Song,” “Let It Snow.” But there’s one much more contemporary song that has quickly earned itself the same pedigree.

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” was released in 1994 and has quickly become a Christmastime classic. But what is it about the song that makes it sound so festive?

In the video above, Adam Ragusea, a professor at Mercer University with a background in music, explains the secret chord in this song that harkens back to those jazzy Christmas classics and, as though by magic, seems to evoke hot cocoa on snowy December night.


Read more:
Playing Christmas music too early: The surprising effect on your mental health

Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.