Music has always played a big part in religion, particularly in Christianity. Although it is hard to trace back to when the first hymns emerged, it is known that many came out during the fifteenth and sixteenth century. Hymns were first written in Latin and Greek but were eventually translated into common languages. Hymns were brought to the United States from Europe but eventually new types of Christian music were developed. In the United States, gospel music became popular largely because of slavery during the nineteenth century. It is still performed today as part of church services and ceremonies. Arguably, the next large Christian music movement was the Jesus movement occurred during the mid twentieth century. The Jesus movement began on the West coast of the United States during the 1960s, as part of the hippie counterculture. With the Jesus movement came Jesus music, a mix of rock and gospel. Although Jesus music was controversial, it helped bring about Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). CCM is also a mix of rock and gospel but newer types of CCM also include different genres of music including pop and rock.
Many churches today are beginning to play contemporary music instead of traditional hymns. Contemporary music is much more relatable than traditional hymns and helps attract a larger audience, particularly young adults and youth. Contemporary music helps contribute to contemporary worship services. Contemporary churches approach worship in different ways. Some churches play contemporary music (using guitars and keyboards instead of organs and choirs) while others use different technology, such as PowerPoints, during the services; some churches use both.
There are hundreds of thousands of contemporary Christian bands all over the world but two bands in particular stick out to me. Tenth Avenue North, a band from Palm Beach Florida, is a Christian rock/pop band. They have released three studio albums and have multiple singles including “I’ll be by Your Side,” which topped the Contemporary Christian Music Chart in 2008. MercyMe, is another Christian rock band that has released multiple albums and songs, many of which have topped the music charts. Both of these bands have positive messages that they convey through their music. These two bands are my favorite contemporary bands but there are many different types of contemporary music.
Not all Contemporary Christian Music is rock or pop. Different genres of Christian music include Christian punk, Christian hardcore, and Christian hip-hop. Sometimes these genres are not included under the category of CCM but they are still undoubtedly different types of Christian music that are unique compared to traditional hymns. Whether you like pop, rock, rap, or hip-hop, there are many types of Christian music that can satisfy a variety of musical tastes.
Lewis, David A. “The Rise of Pop Culture in Religious Studies.” Publisher’s Weekly. (2013): 1. Web. 4 Apr. 2014
Rojek, Chris, ed. Pop Music, Pop Culture. Cambridge: Policy Press, 2011. Print.
School of the Rock. School of the Rock. 9 Feb. 2012. Web. 23 Apr. 2014.
Wordwise Bible Studies. N.p. web. 23 Apr. 2014. http://www.wordwise-bible-studies.com/first-english-hymn.html