Last update: 6:00 a.m. EDT Oct. 8, 2008

CAPE MAY, NJ, Oct 08, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) —
An intriguing question: When did Christmas music begin? In the 12th
century? 15th century? 17th century?

Ron Clancy sought to answer the question when he began researching
the topic almost twenty years ago. He believed there was more to
Christmas music than what is annually heard on the airwaves each
holiday season, very little of which goes back further than the 18th

With the publication of "Best-Loved Christmas Carols," Ron’s first
volume on the subject, the origin of carols was explored. It covered
a period of seven hundred years. With the release of
Christmas Classics" in 2001, America’s unique two hundred
year contribution to the international Christmas music repertoire was
meticulously described in what has been described as "one of the
greatest assemblages of Christmas music ever done."(Goldmine Magazine)
All titles include lavishly illustrated books and music CDs.

But what about Christmas music in the early years of Christianity and
subsequent centuries from the Dark Ages to the Medieval Period and
then the Renaissance?

With the new release of "Sacred Christmas Music," also a richly
illustrated book-music CD package, the history of Christmas music
comes full circle and indeed answers the question: When did Christmas
music begin?

"Sacred Christmas Music" begins with a fascinating overview of that
history by linking it to the development of Western music over a two
thousand year span, much of which early on was influenced by the
Christian church and its liturgy, namely the Mass and the canonical
hours. It progresses by explaining the invention of new compositional
techniques that allowed for more exciting types of music as Gregorian
chant became more sophisticated and ultimately superceded by the
great advancements in polyphony.

Proof positive of these advancements is the genius of Josquin,
Palestrina, Corelli, Bach, and Handel, all on display in an eloquent
music CD, an integral component of "Sacred Christmas Music." Glorious
motets, Gregorian chant, Latin hymns, a Christmas concerto, and two
cherished carols round out the music program, one astutely assembled
on the chronology of the Christmas calendar and schedule of the
ancient Mass and canonical hours.

Adding depth to the collection, "Sacred Christmas Music" offers
magnificent color plates of period fine art, and manuscript
illuminations and miniatures, from the great museums and libraries of

Christmas Classics Ltd.
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SOURCE: Christmas Classics Ltd.