Christmas or Trashmas?

The notorious song, “All I want from Christmas” by Mariah Carey, is a famous song heard all around the world… if you haven’t heard it, then there is a possibility your living underneath a rock. Till now this song continues to escalate in popularity each Christmas with the number of times I hear it being played on the radio. This song gets so repetitive, being also played in train stations, stores, even bathroom stalls. I even remember this song being nominated as one of the best-selling singles. I came open these 5 individuals that I wanted to interview towards this song. Each individual had his own experience when it came to music but using my time machine I was able to also interview people from different eras. These individuals were…

Travis Scott (Composer):

I called out his name Travis Scott to catch his attention and see if he had time to be interviewed by me. what got me curious, that I never bothered to search up was his actual name. it turns out his real name is Jacques Berman Webster II. Scott told me he was born on April 30, 1992, in Texas. He told me he was living a middle-class life in just like me the only difference was that it was around the age of 18 he dropped out of college to fully pursue his music career as a rapper. Not only is he an American rapper, but a songwriter, singer and record producer.

Once I played the song to Scott, he first noticed tempo of the song, how largo it was. He felt a comparison with his music because most of his songs have a fast tempo. He also noticed the homophonic texture this song had. He mentioned that he would also use this type of textures in most of his music. Overall, he found this song interesting and wouldn’t mind listening to it again; Especially on Christmas.

 

Aaron Copland (Conductor):

Talking to me Copland I found out that he was an American composer, born on November 14, 1900. Copland was amazed by the fact that I brought him into the future. The thought of something like this was possible blew his mind. I had to convince to relax, and allow me to interview him over what he thought about the Christmas song. He told me a bit more about himself and how in the late 1960s he was known to be a conductor. Listening to his music made it clear that he was known to open his musical pieces slowly changing harmonies.

Once I played the song to Copland, he was surprised by the upbeat tempo being used in the song at first. He was also confused by the use of vocals in the music piece. He felt that the song would’ve been better if they focused on the instrumental part. Copland was also unfamiliar with the homophonic type of texture because he usually uses homorhythmic, and polyphonic textures. His conclusion Copland believed there was potential to this music piece, and felt that if he remade it, it would’ve been better. “The change in the texture and the change in the meter would’ve made it better,” so he said.

Carolyn Abbate (Musicologist):

When I approached Abbate, a well-known American Musicologist, we had a chance to talk and know about each other. She told me about how she was a professor at Harvard University. I was amazed by that fact and asked if I can get a recommendation letter, which I was politely declined. She also told me what it meant to be a musicologist. They are people who study music but in a deeper sense. I was confused at first, but then she started to explain it little by little. They try to analysis any change in pattern or question why they decided to choose these rhythms, for example. The more they know behind the meaning of the song, the closer they get to understand the background behind the making of the piece.

I took Abbate to a quitter, more suitable place where I can play the Christmas song. She noticed how they used bell chimes as one of their main instruments. She also compared it with other Christmas songs and noticed how bell chimes are popular in the Christmas song industry. She started to focus on it and wonder what could’ve been the reason why they like using it so much. Was it because of the sound, or does it have to do with its background history. Abbate was also really intrigued by their choice of a homophonic texture. She mentions how now in days it’s very common to see music writers use this type of texture. “Is it attracting the younger audience?” Abbate questioned out loud. Abbate was amazed at how far Christmas itself has changed little by little. Being more modernized, and how the audience tastes in music keeps in changing as well. In the end, she found this song interesting, and different compared to her Christmas songs played at her young age.

 

George Rosero (Father):

My father was born on May 7, 1966, in Queens, New York. He lived his life in Long Island City listening to classic rock. “Back in my time there was only one type of rock,” said George. When I showed him this song, from the beginning he started to describe the difference in how the tempo was largo. He also mentioned how the instruments used in rock was mostly drums and guitars. But in the Christmas song we heard were a piano, violin, bell chimes, and flute. In the end, my father said he would prefer to listen to something else than the song I recommended. It was trashmas for him.

 

Conception Chaves (Mother):

My mother was born on October 14, 1972, in Cali, Colombia. Living in a different country, made her music experience different from the United States. Her type of music preference would be from salsa, merengue, and bachata. these types of music are known to be played in a 2/4 beat or a 4/4 beat, especially in the modern version. Their tempo can vary from allegro to largo tempo, so my mother was accustomed. When I played ‘All I want for Christmas,” my mother was already onboard with music and noticed the had the same type of musical instruments being played, like the piano. She also mentions how she fell involve with the vocal singer, who had a Mezzo Soprano voice. Which can also be compared to the vocal skills of the singers to salsa, merengue, and bachata. Once the song was done playing my mother decided to add the Christmas song to her playlist.

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14 comments

  1. I really like where you said, “if you haven’t heard it [All I want from Christmas], then there is a possibility your living underneath a rock”. The question that Abbate asked to readers, I want to say the Christmas carol is still attracting and popular among the young generation. I, myself, enjoy listening to Christmas carol when it is near the season. Listening to the Christmas carol gives you a special vibe that you can only feel during certain time in the year. One question that I wanted to ask you is where do you think it’s the best place to play Christmas carol?

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  2. The way you stated that attention grabber couldn’t of been better to draw the audience in, it worked! Copland said it would of been better with a different texture and meter, but do you honestly think he enjoyed it or disliked it? There’s nothing better than starting to listen to Christmas music after thanksgiving.

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  3. Its interesting you used the two individuals to use lastly, were your parents. Obviously they would have two different emotions while listening to this Christmas piece by Mariah Carey. I can see now where your title came from, your father obviously had in mind “trashmas” while other individuals had “Christmas”. I liked how you chose a composer during our times now, like Travis Scott. You defiantly got creative with this, I enjoyed it very much.

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  4. I enjoyed reading this, and liked how you got creative, similar to mine when you chose composers during our time. All I want for Christmas is one of my favorite’s.Listening to Christmas music definitely puts me in a Christmas spirt and in a happy mood. I really liked when you said, “if you haven’t heard it , then there is a possibility your living underneath a rock”. I do have a question, does your father like Christmas music, and if so does he think its still “trashmas”.

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  5. I liked the way you introduced the topic is popular music good music? And enjoy read your article. So do you think “All I want for Christmas” is “trashmas”?

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  6. Very creative on your writing especially when it came to your title…. when I read it I knew I had to read more. The part when you used the time machine to go back in time really got me laughing a bit when you said “ I was amazed by that fact and asked if I can get a recommendation letter, which I was politely declined” to get into Harvard… but the fact that you used your parents as a source in your writing was what really intrigued me because of its originality, using real life people to describe what they think about the piece you chose to talk about. Even better when they have two different music backgrounds to get a statement from them. To answer your title question I would say trashmas why? cause its stuck in my head and I can’t get it rid of it plus I’m more of a rock guy …..

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  7. After re-reading your essay for second comment. I was curious about will audiences and musicians from Medieval period and Renaissance period like the Christmas carol from 21th century after listening to many different Christmas carols. Most of the Christmas carol contain lyrics that is celebrating birth of Jesus and it is very religious song. What do you think about it? Do you think people from Medieval and Renaissance period will like Christmas carol from 21th century?

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  8. I like how in your opening paragraph you made the comparison of how the song “All I want for Christmas” by Mariah Carey is played in “stores, train stations, and bathroom stalls”. I can totally agree with you on this because every time December comes around the song becomes so repetitive like you said. In the music world on holidays songs tend to get repeated over and over. I think it is because holidays and music make the holiday more holy. What I mean by that is that Christmas songs and holidays just go hand in hand. Mariah’s lyrics explains how all she wants for Christmas is the man she fell in love with. This song is a love holiday song if you ask me because in the lyrics she says “There’s just one thing I need, I don’t care about the presents, Underneath the Christmas tree, I just want you for my own ,More than you could ever know, Make my wish come true, All I want for Christmas is You”. The lyrics and the choice of instruments brings out the words Mariah speak into many perspectives. I feel like if you were to listen to this song without lyrics you can sort of sense what this song was made for. The expectations of Mariah’s song were to deliver a message to her listeners that its possible she created this song based on her love life. Does anyone feel that artists write music and compose music based on what is going on in their life now or moments long ago?

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  9. I really enjoyed how you incorporated separate types of music reviews/criticism. The way you worded the musicologist discussion greatly supported the direction one of your listeners was going towards. For this, it was interesting how you mentioned the texture and vocal types rather than just opinionated criticism. Also your listeners each had great variety and I was easily able to distinguish how their reviews are different from one another and how each of their talks added depth to my understanding of the song.

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  10. One question to raise is “Why do you think there aren’t new Christmas songs begin made? Why are we accustomed to hearing popular Christmas songs from the past?” I’ve always had this song in the back of my mind as I don’t particularly remember hearing any newly released Christmas hits in the past two years.

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  11. First, that title is hilarious. I liked your interpretations and how you gave a detailed history of your listeners so that it was clear as to who they were and what this history may bring to this thoughts on the music. You did a great job with using terms used in class to help describe what these listeners though of the music and why they may have liked or disliked it. Even adding a little note that your mother added it to her playlist was really cute and great. Awesome job!

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  12. first off, love how you added Travis Scott, one of my favorite artist, and also how you add your father. The song its self is a classic, love or not, but it can be overplayed sometimes.

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  13. I thought it was very interesting that you found this music annoying because it always bring on holiday spirit around this time of the year and is a very cheerful song. It reminds me of older music and the joy that Christmas bring with it.

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