Christian music has been around in some form for almost 2000 years, since the time of Christ. Over the centuries Christian musicians have proved through their art that the best music should belong to God, and over 2000 years people consider that the best kind of music is the music that is praising ...
Christian music is, in some sense, a traditional art, because the basis of its melodies and tunes remain about the same during several centuries. Take, for example, Bach organ music which was created many years ago and proceeds to be performed today in the Catholic masses by the Catholic church. Or take the Russian Christian music which is sang by the choir without any instrument background. Most masterpieces of Christian music have been already written and we are only to listen to them again and again, admiring and amusing the depth of human feelings and love.
Would anybody tell since when Christian music has become an industry? Christian musicians, largely influenced by the Jesus Movement of the 1970s, began to claim rock and pop music as viable tools for ministry. Before the early 1970's, Christian Music could be categorized as either Traditional Hymns, Southern Gospel or as Traditional Black Gospel styles. Then, in 1980' the movement of youth was created, which became known as the Jesus Movement. From the Jesus Movement came new Christians, who were anxious to tell others about Jesus. Those Jesus People started developing new worshipping and witnessing styles. An effort was made to write music, which was culturally relevant or contemporary. The desire was to create music that would appeal to the current searching generation.
The name Contemporary Christian Music was coined to distinguish this style of music from the more traditional forms of religious music. The word contemporary has proven to be an appropiate description of this music over the last twenty years, as the styles have kept up with its secular counterpart. The ever evolving state of C.C.M. includes such diverse and contemporary styles as rock, jazz, blues, dance, metal, rap, alternative, new age, grunge, punk, thrash, death, gothic and industrial. Yet regardless of the form, the essences of all Contemporary Christian Music is the same-to share God's love to the current generation in a way that can be both understood and enjoyed.
Evangelical Christians began to accept these forms of music and support "Jesus rock" and "contemporary Christian music," often in conjunction with incorporating contemporary musical styles into their church services, developing what is now called "praise and worship." In the mid-90s, Christian music became a sought-after demographic for major record labels in the U.S. What began as - and still is - a tool for evangelism, artistry, encouragement, and entertainment has also become an industry focused on money, marketing, and maintaining a fanbase. Christian heavy metal, Christian ska, Christian CW, Christian reggae, Christian elevator music.
What makes a song a "Christian" song? This is a distinctly American phenomenon, not experienced to this extent elsewhere in the world. They seek to be a great rock-and-roll band. They desire mainstream airplay. They want to be respected as a band. Yet they are undeniably and unabashedly God-centered and Christ-glorifying.
Despite representing different variation and influences of worship music, these are mainly worship psalms, whose heart-felt cries to God and charges to the church have a strong presence in the Bible and in the history of the church.
We must seriously analyze what we categorize as "worship music." This is a significant subject, and beyond the scope of this article, but we must consider whether worship can take place in all areas of life and music, or only those set aside and labeled as such.
Worship music is a must for any Christian, who truly wants a balanced defense of today's worship music. We should be open and willing to learn from Christians of other traditions, to learn a mixture of both contemporary praise music and traditional hymns.