The secret chord that makes Christmas music sound so Christmassy

mariah careyall i want for christmas is youchristmas musicirving berlinbing crosbywhite christmaslet it snowbaby please come homecharlie brown christmasrudolph the red nosed reindeermusic theorychordspiano lessonchristmas sheet musicvox

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:

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Can they make a video of how Vox makes awesome video editing?
Goddamnit, it's only February! Don't make me start listening to Christmas songs!
Brad Owens
Dm half diminished is just an F minor chord that thinks it's fancy! (and it's is fancy)
Don Ventura
Never a better example of "the best artists steal".
Nina Kato
I just love Christmas songs it makes me feel so nostalgic and warm my favourite genre of music is Christmas not even kidding
Kyle Bowles
I wonder how much Mariah Carey paid Vox to do this.
Would that also be called a Ddim7 or am I mistaken
Kenzo Qui
Wow, this is like finding out Colonel's Sander's KFC chicken recipe!
stay gold
it's 2 am, why am I still binge Watching Vox videos??!!

send help please
the dude can sing someone sign him
Crap video, wasting of time, it's just association with Christmas, these harmony patterns have been used from Rachmaninov to jazzy songs, and they are not Christmassy at all. Put some bells and they will become Christmassy.
Liana Freeman
Why am I watching this in February? Now I'm feeling all Christmassy...
teg the egg
I'm already excited for Christmas now hahaha
E-J Thompson
"I heard there was a secret chord, that David played and it pleased the lord"
Collin Lesher
Does anybody know what that little keyboard is called? thank you
Joe Hill
Don't wanna burst the bubble but the chords he says Carey starts with are not correct...
He says: 1 // 1(7) // 4 // 2m7b5
What the song really does: 1(maj7) // 1(add2)/3 // 4 (this one's right) // 4m/b6!
In other words, where he says Dm7b5, it should be Fm/Ab. It's not even half diminished, it's 4 minor (1st inversion). White Christmas is the same. Similar sound but the chords serve different functions, and for a 'secret chord' it should probably be the right one!
jejoy balm
I'm in love with your video editing, Vox. All of the videos are really interesting... But the editing. 😻
IJ Tub3r
And the effect of the melting chord is very enhanced when you use the #5 as the root of the melting chord
Lukas Rohrmoser
so chrismassy? you mean shitty
Christmas music should be punishable by death.
bit of a stretch to call a ii half diminished a "secret chord", pretty common actually.
Jeff Eager
I've always played and heard that last chord as a minor IV with an added 6. (meaning the root note is the F, the D is just added on top). I think it sounds incorrect with the D in the bass, I'm not sure where he is getting that.
(in fact, in Mariah's tune, I think the bass goes up on that chord and plays the third of the chord (in his example, it would be a Fm6/Ab ... or in Mariah's key of G, the chord would be Cm6/Eb)
And that's my nerdy opinion ... thoughts?
oh that chord was so good when you built up to it
Fox Tripp
Damn david , you sing it XD
Music producers will love this.
Queen Treasure
I heard there was a secret chord that David played and it pleased the lord...
that "secret" chord is used by baroque and romantic classical componist (Bach, Vivaldi, Chopin, Liszt), but sometimes by wiener classical componist too (Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn).
The guy said: "I don't know why?!"

You're welcome.
Raven Wings
I don't like the Mariah carey version half as much as the my chemical romance version.
check out vid by Adam Neely on this - actually explains it far better than this vid.
Paul Olsen
2:18 do we need to put triple parentheses around this guy on the Wiki?
Mario Micallef
The sounds very similar to NPR. I hate Vox
Nate Kennedy
Not sure I'd call this 'Christmasy' sounds pretty much jazz 'Standardy', ton of old songs use this progression
David Briguglio
It's because it is used in popular Christmas music only these days that it is associated with it. If you were a jazz musician you would not feel the same way because it is our bread and butter to relate to other chords. It's simply associated with it because the only big hits they are on at that time of year were heavily influenced by jazz chord progressions.
Mew Wew
I f*&^ng knew there was some thing up with this song
Mike James
This explanation is complete garbage. Sorry.
Konstantin Malaev
Whell, he said on 3:17 "four chords"... I see only three when he plays. IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME?
Senor Sniper
This is... well... bullshit.
The reason it sounds so 'Christmassy' is all because of what emotional meaning the song has to us. Show someone who's never heard any christmas songs before, but who knows what christmas is, this chord progression, and they won't think of Christmas.
Oh, and the sleigh bells.
Emily C.
Part writing with these types of chords (V7, V7 half diminished, V7 diminished, subdominant, dominant) with four voices in Bach style is the absolute worst. Parallel octaves and fifths everywhere
Teddy Graham
Please don't be misinformed, that chord(D, F, Ab, C) is half-diminished, not diminished..
Jeffrey H
the major 6 chord also is christmassy.
Darien Hilmerson
I hate "All I Want For Christmas Is You"... It's overplayed so much, I find it SO annoying
A musician engineer. One of the most brilliant and talented careers yet one of the most under appreciated
it's the chord that gives the also sprach Zarathustra (Richard Strauss) intro that zing too
Jayden Meads
I'm so triggered. you said Christmas and your America
Abel Stearns
Also it's what makes the Mickey Mouse Club song sound like the Micke Mouse Club song.
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