One part "White Christmas," two parts “Baby Please Come Home.”
What is it that makes Christmas music so Christmassy? Is it the chestnuts? The nutmeg? The cinnamon? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
According to this new video from Vox, it’s a special chord found in some Christmas song classics that give it that special yuletide feel.
In this video, Vox talks to Adam Ragusea from Mercer University, who explains the influences of Mariah Carey’s hit and breaks the songs down note by note. When played together, Carey’s song sounds an awful lot like Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” and the Phil Spector-penned “Baby Please Come Home.” But there’s one chord in particular that makes them brings them all together. In music terms, it’s going from a “tonic chord” to a “diminished chord.” But all you need to do is hear how similar these things seem to get the gist.
Check out the video above, and enjoy the songs below. See if you can hear what makes them so Christmassy.