Since it's Christmas time and all, I've been listening to Christmas carols basically nonstop (at work on the radio online, in the car, at home with my 4-ft Christmas tree lit up). I've realized something very interesting when I listen to Christmas carols. From playing viola in orchestras, viola groups, and string trios (shoutout to the Lylac String Trio!) I've always played Christmas songs. Playing viola means almost definitively playing the harmony in a song.
I noticed that in listening to Christmas carols, I am unusually aware of the harmony that plays in what others might just think of as the "background". I can recognize the parts that I used to play in each song, and I almost find myself paying more attention to those parts rather than the melody itself. The layers are much more apparent for me, having experienced them first hand. I feel that I am able to appreciate the complexity of the songs more so than someone just listening on the surface. This is something that I am thankful for. My years playing music are certainly a blessing in my life, and I like to see that I am still seeing the benefits of that hard work.
I hope that the next time you listen to a Christmas carol you will take the time to appreciate the many layers that make up these songs that we know and love. I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!