Love them or hate them, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the usual barrage of festive tunes. Whether it's a bit of Mariah at your office party or Michael Buble's holiday album on repeat over Christmas dinner, there's no escaping them. Now a group of musicians, musicologists, and composers has come together to create what might just be the happiest seasonal jingle of all time – using science.
Joe Bennett is a forensic musicologist who spends his time analyzing song compositions and advising those in the music industry how similar one song is to another. This festive season, he's been using his musical talents to study the lyrical themes, musical keys, tempo, and vocals of 200 popular holiday tracks to help come up with the ultimate holiday anthem.
“There is no simple formula for a successful song, and in practice songwriters combine their own experience, musical skills, and personal creative preferences when writing,” explained Bennett, reports the Stoke Sentinel.
"But we can infer listeners’ favoured song characteristics by analysing the most popular recordings – in this case, Christmas songs.”
Apparently, when it comes to Christmas tunes, these favored song characteristics include references to partying, snow, home, peace and love, Santa Claus, and (of course) Christmas. We also enjoy hearing sleigh bells in the chorus, a major key, and an average tempo of 115 beats per minute.
The end result is a song called Love’s Not Just For Christmas, which has been recorded by the London Community Gospel Choir. The group has previously sung alongside musical legends, including Madonna, George Michael, and the Britpop band Blur.
British songwriter, Steve Anderson, wrote the lyrics for the new Christmas song alongside singer-songwriter Harriet Green.
Speaking to the Stoke Sentinel, he said, "Over the years I have been lucky enough to have written and produced Christmas tracks and albums for a number of artists including Kylie, Susan Boyle, and Harriet, who co-wrote this song with me. Hopefully we’ve risen to the challenge and provided a song people will love not only this Christmas, but for every Christmas to come.”
We'll have to wait and see if it can beat perennial favorites Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You, Buble's It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, and The Pogue's Fairytale of New York – the three most-streamed Christmas tracks of 2015. For now, it's available to stream and download on Spotify.