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Press Kit

History of Christmas Music Comes Full Circle
with Sacred Christmas Music

Cape May, NJ - October 6, 2008 – An intriguing question: When did Christmas music begin? In the 12th century? 15th century? 17th century?

 Ron Clancy sought to answer the question when he began researching the topic almost twenty years ago. He believed there was more to Christmas music than what is annually heard on the airwaves each holiday season, very little of which goes farther back than the 18th century.

 With the publication of Best-Loved Christmas Carols, Ron’s first volume on the subject, the origin of carols was explored. It covered a period of seven hundred years. With the release of American Christmas Classics in 2001, America’s unique two hundred year contribution to the international Christmas music repertoire was meticulously described in what has been described “as one of the greatest assemblages of Christmas music ever done.”(Goldmine Magazine)  All titles include lavishly illustrated books and music CDs.

 But what about Christmas music in the early years of Christianity and subsequent centuries from the Dark Ages to the Medieval Period and then the Renaissance?

 With the new release of Sacred Christmas Music, also a richly illustrated book-music CD package, the history of Christmas music comes full circle and indeed answers the question: When did Christmas music begin?

Sacred Christmas Music begins with a fascinating overview of that history by linking it to the development of Western music over a two thousand year span, much of which early on was influenced by the Christian church and its liturgy, namely the Mass and the canonical hours. It progresses by explaining the invention of new compositional techniques that allowed for more exciting types of music as Gregorian chant became more sophisticated and ultimately superceded by the great advancements in polyphony.

Proof positive of these advancements is the genius of Josquin, Palestrina, Corelli, Bach, and Handel, all on display in an eloquent music CD, an integral component of Sacred Christmas Music. Glorious motets, Gregorian chant, Latin hymns, a Christmas concerto, and two cherished carols round out the music program, one astutely assembled on the chronology of the Christmas calendar and schedule of the ancient Mass and canonical hours.  

Adding depth to the collection, Sacred Christmas Music offers magnificent color plates of period fine art, and manuscript illuminations and miniatures, from the great museums and libraries of Europe.

Contact Information 
Christmas Classics Ltd.
P.O. Box 1184
N. Cape May, NJ 08204
(609) 886-6540

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