Video: The Actual Secret Behind Christmas Pop Songs

Every holiday season, we're inundated with a slew of familiar melodies and jingles that we immediately associate with the "Christmas spirit." But why?

What exactly makes a Christmas song a Christmas song? Is it a familiar chord progression, a certain melody structure? We here at Reverb got curious and tasked Joe Shadid with cracking the Christmas case.

Just what are these yuletide elements? According to Joe, they include:

  • The i - vi - ii - V progression
  • A dominant and diminished function to point to a minor key
  • Sleigh bells
  • ... and more

Starting at noon CT, Joe is going to go live on Reverb's Instagram account to break down some familiar seasonal hits like "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" to find out what's really behind the magic. And then, we'll see if he can't write a Christmas song himself... "Because It's Christmas."

If you've always wondered what's in the secret sauce of these festive holiday tunes, be sure to head over to Instagram to catch the video.

Hear "Because It's Christmas" in full here.

Want more music theory lessons from Joe? Find them here.

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