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The secret chord that makes Christmas music sound so Christmassy

81881 ratings | 3913005 views
Hint: Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" uses it. For more about the secret chord, read more from Adam Ragusea here: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/music_box/2014/12/mariah_carey_s_all_i_want_for_christmas_is_you_a_musicological_explanation.html Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjO Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan to the Kim Kardashian app. Check out our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE Follow Vox on Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H Or on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o
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Text Comments (4536)
Christy Neckvatal (2 days ago)
Why do you watch VOX videos if you do not like them? Then complain they are horrible, this never mad sense to me.
Art C (3 days ago)
needs more cowbell
wildsprig (9 days ago)
That diminished chord can also be heard in Debussy's Claire de Lune. In the Bellagio fountain scene, toward the end of Ocean's 11, you'll heard that chord. You can hear it at https://youtu.be/lG8GuaTnPDM?t=109
joshspeed (15 days ago)
I am very music-literate but not a musician and I LOVE this series.
Ryan Mahuze (20 days ago)
m7b5 for life
Kris Silver (20 days ago)
So in which part of the video do they explain the actual chord used? Because all I saw was a nerd jamming on his phone
nutrol (22 days ago)
Marri keri = dead raw mango
Godzilla gojira 123 (22 days ago)
Mariah should be sued😂
Luis Lopez (23 days ago)
That is so funny that I am a stickler for the classic Nat King Cole , Johnny Mathis and such. But when I started to hear Mariah Carey's song it began to draw me in every time I heard it i liked it more. Thanks for the explanation
Leena Sfar (23 days ago)
To be honest that Dm7b5 is really just giving the effect that the minor fourth would do. That chord closely resembles fm but the only real difference is that d natural. In my own compositions, I really love taking advantage of that minor fourth. You hear it more in older songs like the Beatles and in Christmas songs less than pop today. See In my life- from G major to a C minor gives that "melting" component that he describes.
Maksim Liakh (26 days ago)
@vox should really take down this bullshit video...
antah kau (25 days ago)
Maksim Liakh you what mate?
Durpness Sucks (26 days ago)
Anyone else think Adams voice just sounds so beautiful? 😍
pknm (26 days ago)
happy holidays everyone
Kelley Zha (26 days ago)
Lol just a I>IV>iv(6)>I progression what’s so special about that?
Lucas van Hout (26 days ago)
I don’t like Christmas music. I Like to listen to my own music the whole year round. instead of switching to the same classics the last month for a international party. That is just stupid.
2:51 top secret chord 🎹
Eric Glasgow (27 days ago)
If you don’t know how to annotate chords correctly, don’t try to annotate chords correctly.
Guys, really? You are uploading horrible content lately. I'll quit the subscription after this.
Ploopybear (28 days ago)
Nobody is watching this around Christmas time this year? I searched it up but wow okay
shrafe (28 days ago)
There is no secret chord and it doesn't sound Christmassy. Diminished seventh chords appear in Western harmony all the time - all the great composers' works after about 1700 feature them. This chord happened to appear in two successful Christmas songs.
eXesion (30 days ago)
As a piano player i find it wierd how most people here have no idea what a chord even is Also i find Cmaj7 in the first position relaxing 😌
Charlie (1 month ago)
ngl this is no 'secret chord' it's just a plagal cadence
YI YUAN (1 month ago)
Two things. Note is C B A Ab G and C. In finish there is 16425 chord progress.
YI YUAN (1 month ago)
I mean 1625
Elijah Smith (1 month ago)
That chord is used the II half-diminished 7 chord, and it's used in quite a wide variety of songs and pieces that have nothing to do with Christmas. It's very commonly found written in first inversion, as II half-diminished 6/5. Not really a secret, nor is it exclusively for Christmas
Ash Kitt (1 month ago)
Now let's make an AI that can make Christmas music. Input f="M, Maj7, M, DM7♭ 5"
SamuelSas (1 month ago)
This is so cringey.
Kyuss Homan (1 month ago)
This sounds like the girl from Portlandia
Vladimir (1 month ago)
December 2018 y'all?
WHD Studios (1 month ago)
Mariah Carey just finished re-doing her song for a iHeartRadio concert.
Adam Pierce (1 month ago)
So, your opinion is the songs special chord and not the lyrics is the reason for it’s success. Sounds awfully subjective to me.
sad boy (1 month ago)
all i want for christmas and last christmas are my favs 🥵🥰
WHD Studios (1 month ago)
+sad boy "Silent Night" - Traditional Version "Charlie Brown Christmas" - Traditional Version "All I Want For Christmas" - Mariah Carey "White Christmas" - Bing Crosby "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" - Bing Crosby "This Christmas" - Chris Brown "This Christmas" - Pentatonix "Hark! The Herald Angles Sing" - Pentatonix "Little Drummer Boy" - Traditional Version "It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year" - Andy Williams "Let It Snow" - Dean Martin "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" - Traditional Version "O Come, All Ye Faithful" Wade And The Choirboys https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIz8VsdKRes Are my favorite Christmas song(s).
Macaw12 (1 month ago)
"It's the most christamassy thing In the world. I don't know why." Boiiiii
WHD Studios (1 month ago)
+Mascaw12 "It's the most wonderful time of the year, With politics screeching and gay very sad meetings when enemies come to threaten, It's the most wonderful time of the year! It's the most happiest season of all; When the Trumps show off their Rich People Christmas and people getting killed everyday because of politics and American Democrats electing new Government and Texas overthrowing Obamacare and Affordable Care Act and UK throws hate on The EU & Theresa May and Trump Supporters call real news "fake news" when it gets reported and still calls Democrats Trump Disorder Syndrome, and the U.S.-Mexico border is filled with racist organizations and sad Military soldiers and children that want to see their own mother, It's the most wonderful time of the yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrr!"
Phil Are Go (1 month ago)
Jeez, how I hate her vocal fryyyyy.
E MM (1 month ago)
he sang good
CD Music (1 month ago)
1:39... still waiting on the chord (also diminished chords aren't a secret, so... )
santiago hernandez (1 month ago)
Christmas was a pegen holiday
santiago hernandez (1 month ago)
The office opening song sounds like Christmas
Michael Moore (1 month ago)
Many times one just hears it performed with an f minor triad rather than the d min 7, changing the root to just keeping an F.
Ryan Chaba (1 month ago)
Why isn’t this part of earworm
DJ P3PP3R (1 month ago)
i luv you
Richard Burchett (1 month ago)
I remember when that song and the video came out almost 25 years ago. Many, many artists were doing Christmas records that were forgettable, but there was something about this one that just sounded like she got it right.
isaiahangelo (1 month ago)
The Christmas chord is actually a Maj6sus2 tonic.
the TOMSTER (1 month ago)
Adam Regusea looks like the younger brother of 'Wranglerstar' on youtube.... look him up.
Gabriel Chiararia (1 month ago)
What about Feliz Navidad?
Egi Santoso (1 month ago)
Hail Mariah
Paul Hannon (1 month ago)
I don't get it
ComfortMsfit (1 month ago)
Thought it was about Christmas jazz not Mariah Carey
Hakim Shrestha (1 month ago)
No one knows the secret chord except David. David played a secret chord and it pleased the Lord. But you don't really care for music do ya ?
devinpenner (1 month ago)
This chord analysis is bullshit. F to Dm7b5 (or Fm6, or Bb13#11) is not unique to these specific songs.
cmacdhon (1 month ago)
It's Christmassy because it's in a Christmas song. If the same chord progression was played in a Thanksgiving song, you would say it was Thanksgivingy
RaymondHng (1 month ago)
Is there a Thanksgiving song?
Michael Georgopulos (1 month ago)
Lol I hate vox hahahahaha
Ryan Venora (1 month ago)
Pipe Alcaraz (1 month ago)
the only thing that makes a song christmassy are the jingle bells
darf boony (1 month ago)
This is every jose marie chans song.
Adam Rumer (1 month ago)
I feel like it’s hard to follow whenever I watch a Vox video
D W (1 month ago)
That professor is going to get signed to a record deal.
Mannymoco239 (1 month ago)
This video was a waste of time
ALL ONE (1 month ago)
Sue her 😬 that would make my Christmas 🎄
ZephyrinSkies (1 month ago)
Christmas music has 2 flavors, nostalgic old fashioned music, and choir music. Both mix to form a feeling of cosy times with the family and the mystic feeling from the religious aspect.
Lars De Roo (1 month ago)
Read the title. 4:25
Jahsiah Bowie (1 month ago)
THIS HAS BEEN ON MY WATCH LATER LIST FOR LIKE 6 MONTHS!!!!!! It’s finally culturally appropriate to celebrate Christmas!!!!!!!
Lionelson Norbert (1 month ago)
Now the question is, what do Christmas songs sound like before jazz existed? Or before any of our christmas standards existed?
Timothy Duch (1 month ago)
A chord doesn't have to be notes played simultaniously, its merely a group of notes that belong together- you can arpegiate a chord
Timothy Duch (1 month ago)
Its neither secret nor "christmasy". Apparently no Vox employees have ever played or even listened to a single jazz tune
hasan u (1 month ago)
Mariah Carey is such a brilliant and underrated songwriter, she wrote 17/18 of her #1s, yet her best songs are the deep cuts. Love her.
Aman Singh Bhadauria (1 month ago)
Now this video will lay foundation content for the next "OVERRATED" vox playlist.
tjena är de nån svesnk här isf säg till för jag skulle vilja prata lite eller typ mötas på ps4 vad som god jul nu är de snart jul bara 14 dagar kvar vi längtar lets goo tomten santa clause teamtomte i dont want alot for christmas there is just 1 thing i need and that is a friend
Will Macdonald (1 month ago)
This is incredibly dubious. I watched this video last year and im watching it again this year it still makes no sense its just for people with no musical instruments background who want to sound better. The "professional" is a journalist lectrurer!!! Dm7b5 has no relation to christmas just because he use words like 'melt' and 'spicy'. Its backed up by nothing.
Ian (1 month ago)
Why does that guy teach journalism? He should sing.
Charlotte Henderson (1 month ago)
DFAbC. You’re welcome.
Nick Goldston (1 month ago)
Man this is disappointing and misleading. Errors in the naming of chords and also kind of missing the point.
Brayan Felix (1 month ago)
You should do more music videos, even more analitical to the musicians side
MIKAL (1 month ago)
"Secret chord" LOL
Formaset (1 month ago)
I’m not into Xmas music at all. And songs with major and white key chords I toss it out of the window. An exception is “have yourself a merry Xmas” is very rich and deep chords including some majors. The only Xmas song I tolerate and enjoy
Sleep Sounds (1 month ago)
But it only works if it follows the 4.... also its a -4 that is the money chord they are talking about
Potato Messiah (1 month ago)
Álvaro García (1 month ago)
I'm still confused
Robert Yocum (1 month ago)
Can AI write Christmas songs? Like if you let it first listen to all the best /classic ones. I'd like to hear that.
Mr Clean (1 month ago)
All you americans don't know what tradition is. Good christmas songs weren't made in the 20th century but in the 17th, 18th and 19th. Everybody over here in Germany/Europe knows that.
TheGreatNorth (1 month ago)
The special chord is half diminished not diminished as was accidentally said. Also he mistakenly said dominant to half diminished at one point but it's the pre dominant
Ben K (1 month ago)
Mariah is my Kweeeeen!!!!
Perhaps you could have found more than *two* examples for this slightly odd theory? The fact that the other song you featured doesn't contain the chord at all leaves me pretty convinced that this is hastily researched gibberish.
Francisco Rosero (1 month ago)
Adam Ragusea??? I though he was ZACH BRAFF from SCRUBS!!!
Aayush Ganesh (1 month ago)
0:10 the score doesn’t match the actual singing if you listen. She slides across notes on ‘for’, which isn’t on the score
The Butler Did It (1 month ago)
0:23 "one of the only Christmas songs written in the last 20 years......." AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH NO IT ISN'T!!!! it is either _the only_ or it is _one of the few_ it can't be one of the only
C4CH3CH3 (1 month ago)
Came here to learn
Deloon (1 month ago)
It’s the bells
Ruata Lungchuang (1 month ago)
That special chord is used in Many Japanese songs.
Matt Woldanski (1 month ago)
Says I don’t know why after explaining why😂
Malice Entity (1 month ago)
I thought a chord was two notes but a chord with three notes is a triad
Lionel Messi (1 month ago)
J Moore (1 month ago)
Yendra Armawan (1 month ago)
Just uploaded my video on instagram singing xmast song, i am sure you’ll see my other contents there. Go follow: yendra_armawan
Alex Leslie (1 month ago)
D e l i c i o u s S p i c y W a r m
pauskie6 (1 month ago)
Here in Philippines, we have Jose Mari Chan ♥
Charms434 (1 month ago)
That fella was giving me the ‘Netflix & chill’ eyes when he was singing. ;)
President D.J. Tantrum (1 month ago)
I am not a fan of any of Mariah’s music. This song drives me crazy
Atlas Ellis (1 month ago)
For me it’s December 9 abd there is absolutely no snow out side as far as I’m concerned I’m still waiting on Halloween
ElectricVulcano (1 month ago)
Great video but her voice is annoying.
jurassicjunkie (1 month ago)
I bloody love these videos

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