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The seasonal songs popular in western music especially in conjunction with the Christmas season known as carols have a rich and complex history full of tradition and controversy in the realms of both sacred and secular music The concept of singing carols to celebrate holidays developed during the 13th century in France although what was to be known as carol music had been around from centuries earlier It is believed that when troubadour Saint Francis of Assisi had made the first Greccio crib he began to sing songs honoring the Nativity and the joy of celebration in religion for this was a strict Puritanical era wherein communal singing drama and any type of festivity was looked down upon in the first place and absolutely abhorred in religion The concept of singing these carols gained popularity throughout Europe towards the end of Puritan reign and the growth of the Mystery Play throughout the 14th and 15th centuries The Mystery Plays were dramatic pieces celebrating the birth of Christ The basic plainsong and antiphon of the time were lacking the drama required by these performances and soon religious songs for these performances were being written in the vernacular for these plays The still popular English Coventry Carol dates back to this period By the end of the 15th century carols had begun to stand on their own as anonymous pieces of music and were dung on almost all religious feast days including Christmas Easter and throughout the Spring in celebration of the peoples emancipation from Puritanism As mentioned earlier the music that these early carols were based on dates back to the 9th and 10th centuries Medieval period where it was used as dance music The word carol itself is derived form the Latin choraula which was a monophonic ring dance accompanied by singing during the Medieval era The form of the early carols followed the binary structure of these dances It consisted of the stanza which
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