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Contemporary Christmas Music to Explore

19 Dec 2019
Christmas Music

It’s that time of the year that some have been waiting for since the last season. Holiday hassle is already upon us in its overwhelming emotions and expectations. What do you wanna hear this month? What would you like to play?

Christmas music has found its way in most genres including country, rock, pop and even reggae and hip-hop. It can already be called a separate genre of its own, uniting all music works that help to create the unique spirit of a merry holiday. No mater whether you are a carol guy, or you love losing yourself in choral classics, or maybe you can’t wait to put on Mariah Carey’s hit as your main December song, there is always a little bit for someone in the boiling Christmas kettle. 

Out of all the festive diversity we picked the pieces that are most wanted in December. In case you forgot some of your regulars, have a look at this short list to fresh it up. All widely loved while some have already become Christmas standards, and deservedly so. Some of the all-time sheet music favourites at MusicaNeo are:

  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Jule Styne)
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Judy Garland) 
  • Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Johnny Marks)
  • Last Christmas (Wham!)
  • Gabriel's Message (Sting)
  • The Christmas Song/Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire (Frank Sinatra)
  • Go Light Your World (Chris Rice)
  • Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
  • Merry Christmas Everyone (Shakin' Stevens)
  • Christmas Time Is Here (Vince Guaraldi)

These are just a few win-win compositions from our online archive that manage to keep melting the hearts and causing warm smiles when played every year, even many years in a row. The list of standards keeps growing with new titles and some of them are bound to become international bangers.

By the way, “A Holy Night” still holds the title of the most sought-after Christmas composition in our catalogue. And it seems there is no such thing as ‘too soon’ for it as it stays in demand far beyond the holiday season.

We know it might be hard to find something completely new and exciting out there in all this variety, so we thought we’d suggest you a few interesting contemporary music works published by MusicaNeo authors that will serve a good addition for both your holiday playlist and ‘performlist’. Below are a few popular compositions in this genre to navigate at MusicaNeo.

1. “The World For Christmas” by Anders Edenroth

A beautiful original song to explore for both choirs and small vocal ensembles, “The World for Christmas” is a setting of the well-known poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore. It expresses the global concert for our planet. The song was originally recorded and presented by the Swedish a cappella ensemble The Real Group. The SATB score and piano part are offered separately and are fairly easy for most ranges.

Video: The Real Group sing The World for Christmas 

2. “Sã Qui Turo Zente Pleta” by Luís Henriques

Here is a choral arrangement of an old Portuguese Christmas song composed around 1647 in a monastery in Coimbra. Luís Henriques preserved the pitch of the original manuscript and made a double-choir version for advanced singers. The possible choir formations include SSTB(A) and SATB. Below is the recording of this Christmas work by L'Arpeggiata and The King Singers.

Video: Sã Qui Turo Zente Pleta by L'Arpeggiata and The King Singers

3. "Weihnachtliches: Der kleine Trommler" by Bernd Gehring

“The Little Drummer Boy” is an American Christmas song based on an old Czech folksong “Carol of the Drum”. In his mixed choir arrangement, Bernd Gehring added German lyrics by Resi Gehring. This is a very lively medium-difficulty five-part choral score with an audio recording. 

4. “Coventry Carol” by Joan Yakkey 

Joan Yakkey’s arrangement of the Advent “Coventry Carol” is based on the 1591 manuscript of the work. The setting offers various possibilities for choral singers (SSA, children or ladies) and instrumentalists (flute, oboe, recorder, viola, violin). The piece is scored for choir and trio and comes with a performance license and a sample recording of the work by SAB choir. You can also have a look at another interesting Christmas arrangement by Joan, just search the catalogue for her SSA version of “Riu, Riu, Chiu” if you want something upbeat and cheerful to play.

Video: Coventry Carol SSA arrangement by Joan Yakkey

5. “O Tannerbaum” by Michael Silverman 

Michael Silverman is known for his worldwide-played piano compositions in a mix of classical, jazz and folk styles. His piano version of “O Christmas Tree (O, Tannenbaum)”, which is one of the most popular carols in the German- and now English-speaking world too, is also among the most downloaded pieces at MusicaNeo. Have a listen to this pure instrumental holiday sound in the audio accompanying the sheet music. We also suggest checking out Michael’s peaceful arrangement of “Away in a Manger” also available in our catalogue.

6. “This Is The Life” by Adrian Webster

Adrian Webster composes inspirational piano solos under the name CrusaderBeach. This is one of his most popular original works that was meant to become a universal composition to embellish a number of occasions including Christmas. If you want something in the style of New Age to accompany your Christmas days, this is the solo for you.

Video: Adrian Webster playing This Is Life 

7. “Four Christmas Carols for Recorder trio” by Annie Helman

Recorder lovers will be glad to discover Annie Helman’s set of arrangements of some the most loved Christmas carols. “O Come All Ye Faithfull”, “Angels We Have Heard On High”, “Away in a Manger”, “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” – all are there ready to bring joy to your families. The songs are arranged for two soprano and one tenor recorders.

Video: Four Christmas Carols for Recorder Trio by Annie Helman

8. “Christmas Album for Piano Four Hands” by Lena Orsa

If you want to share the joy of playing Christmas music with someone at the piano, there’s hardly a better set of curious pieces to find. This is a set of 10 original pieces for piano by Lena Orsa that are not hard to learn and are a lot of fun to play with a colleague, a friend, or a family member. All pieces can be listened to at Lena’s YouTube channel and downloaded as separate music scores at MusicaNeo.

Video: Red Cat from the Christmas Album by Lena Orsa

The sheet music to these and other contemporary Christmas pieces can be found in the special section of our catalogue that already sounds over 2K items ready to become part of your holiday atmosphere. In case you might need a different score version, feel free to get in touch with the author of the music directly through the contact form at the site, they are always eager to help and provide the type of score you want along with the midi files, if needed. More contemporary Christmas sheet music selections are also presented in the Featured Sheet Music section at the main page of our website, don’t hesitate to check them out too.

We do hope you will find the necessary ingredients for a perfect Christmas season. Our team at MusicaNeo wishes you bright holidays and new music discoveries ahead! 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Image: REETZ at Pixabay

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