Source: Craig Parker, associate professor of music
You have selected a report about the history of holiday carols. This report contains one wrap and two actualities.
WRAP 1: Carols originated in the middle ages, but most of the carols we know and love today came from 19th century England or America.
TIME: 56 Seconds
SUGGESTED INTRO: SILENT NIGHT. . .DECK THE HALLS. . .JINGLE BELLS. . .WEVE ALL HEARD THOSE FAMILIAR SONGS DURING THE HOLIDAYS. AN EXPERT AT K-STATE EXPLAINS THE HISTORY BEHIND THOSE WELL-KNOWN TUNES. LANICE THOMSON REPORTS.
HISTORIANS TELL US THE CAROL ORIGINATED DURING THE MIDDLE AGES AND MOST WERE SUNG EITHER IN LATIN OR ENGLISH. MANY OF THE EARLIER CAROLS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS, AND INSTEAD WERE EITHER POLITICAL CAROLS, CAROLS SUNG AT SECULAR CEREMONIES, OR SONGS THAT WOULD BE USED IN A PROCESSIONAL BEFORE A CHURCH SERVICE. DR. CRAIG PARKER, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MUSIC AT K-STATE SAYS MOST OF THE CAROLS WE KNOW OF TODAY CAME FROM 19TH CENTURY ENGLAND OR AMERICA. . .
(Parker :26 "Among the most famous carols that came from English or American culture from the 19th century would be like "Hark the Herald Sing," "Away In A Manger," "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Joy to the World," all of those date to the 19th century, primarily either English or American authors of the words and the music, and then the most famous carol of all is an Austrian carol, "Silent Night," which also dates from the 19th century.")
LANICE THOMSON, KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY.
ACTUALITY 1: An expert in music at K-State talks about why some of the most famous holiday carols around are still popular.
TIME: 18 Seconds
Holiday carols originated during the Middle Ages and were usually sung either in Latin or English. Many carols that survived in manuscripts in European archives had nothing to do with Christmas. Many of these songs were either political in nature, were sung at banqueting feasts or used as a processional hymn before a church service. Most of the tradition we associate with carols today began in the post-reformation days in the 16th century. Dr. Craig Parker, associate professor of music at K-State, says "Silent Night" is perhaps the most universal of all Christmas songs. It is still sung today all over the world in almost every language known to man. Parker says unlike many carols, which usually had two different people writing the text and music, "Silent Night" was written by one person -- a rather obscure Austrian organist named Franz Gruber. Gruber wrote the song in 1818 at the request of a parish priest and was sung at mass on Christmas Eve. Parker explains why "Silent Night" has been so popular throughout the years. The sound bite is 18 seconds and the outcue is, ". . .than anything else."
(Parker :18 "It uses a very simple chord patter. Its easy to play on guitar, or piano. You dont have to be a great piano player or organ player to play Silent Night like you do some of the other Christmas carols that are more complex. I think basically the message of the text is what sold this more than anything else.")
ACTUALITY 2: An expert explains the popularity behind one of the most popular secular holiday songs.
TIME: 19 Seconds
Parker says one of the most popular secular holiday songs is "White Christmas," written by Irving Berlin in 1942 for the Bing Crosby movie, "Holiday Inn." This sound bite is 19 seconds and the outcue is, ". . .song of all time."
(Parker :19 "For many families, including my own, listening to Bing Crosby sing "White Christmas" is just part of a ritual that goes along with putting up your Christmas tree -- because Bing Crosbys "White Christmas" album that came out in the 1950s is, I think, the best-selling Christmas record of all time. I think White Christmas is probably the most recorded song of all time. ")