Difference Between Carol and Hymns

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    Carol vs Hymns

    Hymns are traditional poems which have been taken from the Book of Psalms. They have been around for 100s of years and are sung by congregations while worshipping God in public. Carols, on the other hand, are festive songs. They are generally religious. Today, carols represent “Christmas carols,” “Easter carols,” and “Advent carols.” They may or may not be sung during church worship, and they have a very positive, festive, and popular character to them.


    Hymns are poems which have been taken from the book of Psalms and are called traditional hymns. A traditional hymn is a song which is formally sung by the whole congregation for God in public worship. Hymns have directions for music directed in the book of Psalms, and they may have different lyrics but are always sung using specific tunes. The melodies are very well interchangeable. Different hymns can be sung in the same composition of music. The rhythm of the hymns is always ( Some hymns have very specific tunes and are always sung to the same music. For example, “Amazing Grace” is sung to “New Britain.”

    The music which is used for hymns is called “chordal” by trained musicians. Chordal music is believed to have a very positive, uplifting character. It is melodious and has a specific rhythm that is harmonious. In hymns, the main focus is on the words, and the music only emphasizes it. The music of hymns originated from classical music. It is almost always a four-part harmony. Hymns have melody, harmony, and music which reinforce positivity.


    Carols are festive songs. They are religious in nature but may or may not be sung during worship. There are three different types of carols which represent the carols today; Christmas carols, Easter carols, and the Advent carol. Christmas carols are sung before Christmas, and their lyrics have the themes of the winter season or Christmas.

    The music for carols has been traditionally derived from patterns of medieval chord. Some carols are as old as the Middle Ages. For example, “The Holly and the Ivy” was the first Christmas hymn or carol which appeared in Rome in the fourth century and is sung in some churches still. It became popular with the Protestant churches becoming more prominent after the Reformation in various countries. Music was welcomed by Lutherans, and this helped in popularizing carols more.

    New carols are written and music composed every year. They may or may not have a religious theme too. For example, a song from the 16th century “A Bone, God Wot!” is regarded as a Christmas carol but is sung while drinking ale.


    1.Hymns are traditional poems or songs which have been taken from the Book of Psalms and are 100s of years old; carols could be as old as the Middle Ages or as new as year 2011. They are written every year.
    2.Hymns have a particular music called chordal; carols may have traditional music or more modern and popular music.
    3.Hymns are always sung for God during worship; carols may or may not be sung during religious ceremonies.
    4.Hymns are sung in the praise of God; carols are basically sung today for the winter season, Christmas, Easter, or as Advent carols.

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