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  • If you walk around a shopping mall, turn on the radio, or go to a coffee shop between Thanksgiving and Christmas

  • you're gonna hear this song.

  • I don't want a lot for Christmas

  • That's Mariah Carey's 1994 hitAll I want for Christmas Is You.”

  • It's one of the most often played Christmas songs ever.

  • And it happens to be one of the only Christmas songs written in the last 20 years

  • that has reached the same popularity of the American Christmas standards that came before it.

  • So, here's a question: What makes Mariah Carey's song sound so incredibly

  • Christmassy?

  • aside from those sleigh bells.

  • One of the greatest Christmas albums of all time is A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector.

  • It was originally released in 1963 to little fanfare but then it was reissued in 1972.

  • At that point it instantly became a classic.

  • And if you look at Mariah Carey's song it is most immediately a direct style study of that 1972 Phil Spector Christmas album.

  • The arrangement is just down to a tee.

  • That's Adam Regusea.

  • He teaches journalism at Mercer University but studied music and composition.

  • Most directly she's trying to imitate a song titledChristmas (Baby Please Come Home)”

  • You can hear that so very clearly in how the intro of both songs are structured.

  • Christmas!

  • Snow's coming down!

  • I don't want a lot for Christmas

  • But, if you look a little bit deeper into Mariah Carey's song you'll see another link.

  • One to the best selling song of all time:

  • 1942's “White Christmasby Irving Berlin performed by Bing Crosby.

  • And to find that similarity you've got to look at the chords.

  • It's all in the chords.

  • A chord is 3 or more notes played together.

  • Christmas (Baby please come home)” that Phil Spector song, I think that only has 4 chords in it.

  • It's a 4 chord rock song.

  • There's a lot more variety of chords used inAll I want for Christmas is Youand

  • they harken back to a time when popular music was largely informed by Jazz.

  • A Jazz standard might have 9 different chords in it and chords of lots of different kinds and flavors.

  • Not just majors and minors but diminished and augmented and 7ths and 9ths and all that kind of stuff.

  • And there is one very special chord in Mariah Carey's song that gives it such a classic sound.

  • It's no coincidence that that very chord is also played inWhite Christmas.”

  • So this is not going to sound great, I'm playing it off my iphone.

  • We're putting both songs in the key of C for comparison.

  • So Carey starts on a tonic chord.

  • A home chord.

  • Chord one.

  • “I don't want a lot for Christmas

  • One seven.

  • There's just one thing I need

  • Four chord.

  • Subdominant chord.

  • “I don't care about the presents

  • And here's the special chord.You could call it a diminished two seven chord?

  • Underneath the Christmas tree

  • "I just want you for my own"

  • So the effect is going from a dominant chord and kind of melting into

  • this delicious spicy warm little diminished chord.

  • Now if we were to compare that to Irving Berlin's “White Christmas

  • we see an incredibly similar progression culminating that very very special chord.

  • Irving Berlin starts this phrase with a tonic chord

  • "Where the tree tops glisten and children listen"

  • There's that special chord.

  • "To hear sleigh bells in the snow" To me the right word is just melting.

  • You know it's like snow melting by the fire.

  • it's these Jazzy chords that give Mariah Carey's song that kind of classic early

  • 20th century Christmas Jazzy sound.

  • And it's just the most Christmassy sound in the world.

  • I don't know why.

If you walk around a shopping mall, turn on the radio, or go to a coffee shop between Thanksgiving and Christmas

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The secret chord that makes Christmas music sound so Christmassy

  • 110 4
    yining   に公開 2018 年 12 月 11 日
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