I enjoyed this book very much. The wonderful paintings and included CD are enough of a reason to give it a read. I personally picked it up to try and learn more about the history of Christmas music and music in general.
Religion seems to play a major role in the origins of Christmas music and the composition of music. The book describes churches would use the power of music and it's uplifting effect on people, to hook people in to whatever they were preaching. Makes sense to me.
Here are a few interesting little tid bits from the book I took a liking to.
-Churches considered banning music but decided not too because of it's uplifting manner and effects
-Women singers were banned from singing during mass because they thought it was too much of an "arousal" for men and would be too distracting
-There is an estimated 4 to 5 thousand Christmas Carols on record
-Dancing became outlawed by Church because of some "scandals" LOL
-Original first organs ever made were played with by musicians using their fists because the keys were too big. LOL
I also learned the churches involvement with music really sped up the progression of the composition and overall advancement of music. Because Churches needed the power of music, they put a lot of resources into music making. The Church was the first to start the process of music notation and basically created it. AND THAT was huge because then people OUTSIDE of the Church could get their hands on music and start to make their own. The Church also played a big role in the creation of Polyphony witch then musicians and composers took and applied to their own music.
Overall I learned a lot from this book and hope that I can take what I read and use it as a block for my path of understanding. I reccomend it to everyone!