Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories* December 3 - Christmas Music

The Trapp Family Book of Christmas Songs
selected and arranged by Franz Wasner and illustrated by Agathe Trapp
Pantheon Books, c1950 

My Grandmother, Gertrude Andrews Myren, was an accomplished musician.  She was also a fan of the Trapp Family singers, having seen then perform.  Years ago, my mother and I spied this book, The Trapp Family Book of Christmas Songs.  Mother and I knew it would be the perfect Christmas gift for Grandmother, and it was.  Now the book has been passed on to me and is one of the first of my Christmas things to be put in place each year.

The book opens with an introduction by Maria Auguste Trapp in which she described the various types of Christmas music associated with different cultures throughout the ages.  The beautiful illustrations throughout the book were woodcuts done by Agathe Trapp.

What makes this book such a special part of Christmas for me, beyond its association with my Grandmother, is the variety of carols it includes - Latin, traditional English and German carols, American folk carols, as well as music from Austria, Poland, and other countries. The book is truly a reminder that Christmas does not belong to any one culture, it is for all people to celebrate.

Besides, where else besides this book could I find all the verses of "O Tannenbaum!" in German?

*The Advent Calendar of Christmas memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family's holiday history twenty-four different ways during December!  Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.

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