CHRISTIAN MUSICIANS AND THEIR MUSIC

So many types of Christian musicians – where do we start?

People have enjoyed listening and making music since the dawn of time; it’s simply in our nature. 

It’s no surprise then, that the rise of the Christian musician has seen as the same diversity in style and presentation as we have seen in mainstream music since the advent of music recordings for the masses.

We know that not everyone enjoys listening to the same kind of musicsome people prefer more light-hearted music and others prefer something substantially more seriousSo it’s only natural that after centuries of development and experimentation that we live in a world filled with a diverse array of music.  

Top 5 Featured Christian Musicians

Amy Grant

Amy Lee Grant is an American singer, songwriter, musician, author and media personality. She is known for performing contemporary Christian music and for a successful crossover to pop music in the 1980s and 1990s.

Natalie Grant

Natalie Diane Grant is an American singer and songwriter of contemporary Christian music. She received the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year four consecutive years, and again in 2012. She has also been nominated for seven Grammy Awards

Casting Crowns

Casting Crown’s most recent album is ‘Only Jesus’, which was released in late 2018. It encourages us to only focus on Jesus’ story, as His legacy is more important than their own.

For KING & COUNTRY 

For KING & COUNTRY are Christian musicians who were born in Australia but currently live in Nashville, Tennessee. The Christian pop duo is composed of brothers, Joel and Luke Smallbone.  

Mandisa

Born Mandisa Lynn Hundley, Mandisa’s journey as a Christian musician started in the suburb of Citrus Heights in California, where she grew up. After graduating high school from El Camino Fundamental High School, Mandisa moved to American River College in Sacramento where she completed studies in Vocal Jazz.

Lauren Daigle

Lauren Ashley Daigle is a 28-year-old Christian musician from Lafayette, Louisiana. You may recognise her from her songs such as “You Say”, “O’ Lord” and “Trust in You”.

Kanye West

Kanye West is a Christian musician from Chicago, Illinois. He is also a singer, rapper, record producer, songwriter, entrepreneur and fashion designer. You may recognise him from his hit songs ‘I Love It’, ‘Stronger’ and ‘Runaway’.

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Styles and Genres of Christian Music

As there are many different styles and genres of music, there are also many different styles and genres of Christian music.

Some of the most popular genres of Christian music includegospel, contemporary, rock, heavy metal, country, worship/praise, rhythm and blues, pop, blues, folk, electronic dance music and Christmas music. 

Each of these genres are different, musically speaking, and come from different periods of time, however, they all share Christian themes through their lyrics and are all created by one super-talented group of people – Christian musicians 

 Some Christian versions of these music genres have sparked controversy in Christian communities as traditionally, some of these music styles revolved around themes contrary to the Christian message.

 However, as each genre evolved over time, most have become accepted by many Christians worldwide. 

In fact, Christian music had become a broad category of different styles of music that both Christians and non-Christians enjoy listening to and has given rise to a completely new kind of musician – the Christian musician 

Christian Gospel Music

Christian gospel music is a genre of Christian music that is predominantly vocal based. The genre features physical interaction with the music by the audience with clapping, stomping and vocal participation.

It features instruments such as guitar, piano and drums and is generally characterised by church choirs in Baptist and similar churches. Christian gospel music can be incorporated into a variety of other music styles and is enjoyed all over the world.  

Contemporary Christian Music

Contemporary Christian music is a form of modern popular music that, similarly to gospel music, has lyrics that focus on messages of love, hope and other aspects of Christianity

Music from this genre is commonly modern versions of old hymns and gospel music that have been recreated in a more contemporary style 

Christian Rock

Christian rock music is a genre of music that combines rock and Christian music and focuses heavily on Christian matters such as a person’s faith and having a connection to Jesus. 

Rock music first became popular in the 1950’s; however, the origin of Christian rock began in the 1960’s with experimentation of a ‘new sound’ by young musicians

Music from this genre usually uses instruments such as: vocals, bass guitar, drums and keyboard.  

Christian Metal

Like Christian rock, Christian metal music is a genre that stems from heavy metal and Christian music

Christian musicians in this genre will dedicate their music to sharing their beliefs and faith in ChristianityChristian metal has also been referred to as Jesus Metal, Heavenly Metal and White Metal. 

Christian musicians in this genre strive to remain true to the style while shedding the more rebellious vibes so prevalent in this genre, in favour of relaying the Christian message. 

Christian Country Music

Christian country music is written in the style of country music and features Christian lyricsThe use of traditional country instruments such as acoustic guitars is often blended with piano and drums to create a more modern feel. 

Country music traces back to the 1920s in the Southern part of the U.S. and Christian country music appeared shortly afterward.  

Christian Worship and Praise

Christian Praise music or Christian worship music, also known as contemporary worship music, is written with one express purpose: to glorify God.

There is no particular style or required instruments, however, artists will typically use vocals, electric, bass and acoustic guitars, drums, keyboards and sometimes even synthesisers. 

Music from this genre is usually played by bands, though there are some solo Christian musicians who also lay claim to this style of music. Generally, this music is played at church services and youth groups and is very similar to Christian pop music.   

Christian Rythm and Blues

Christian rhythm and blues music, otherwise known as R&B, is a genre of music that incorporates Christian focused lyrics with music in the style of rhythm and blues. 

The genre originates from the 1940s jazz-rock eraMusic from this genre is played with instruments such as saxophone, drum kit, bass and electric guitar, vocals, horns and piano.  

Christian Pop

Similarly, to contemporary Christian music, Christian pop music is a form of popular Christian music. It is lyrically focused and has messages of love for God and often speaks of faith. 

Whereas contemporary Christian music recreates popular Christian gospel music in a more modern way, Christian pop music is new music written by Christian musicians and has lyrics that centre around the values of Christianity.  

Christian Blues

Christian blues music, also known as gospel blues, is a genre of Christian music that combines blues guitar chords with Christian lyrics. 

The genre has been around since the beginning of blues music, though it’s only in recent times that ‘dedicated’ Christian musicians have given the style its name and brandChristian blues music features instruments such as drums, piano and electric guitar. 

Blues music, as a genre, is a style that shares common themes with Christianity anyway, so it was never going to be too much of stretch for Christian musicians to turn this into a style all its own.   

Christian Folk Music

Christian folk music is a genre that takes the style of folk music and combines it with Christian lyrics. Nowadays, folk music is sometimes also referred to as indie music. 

Folk music, as the name suggests, comes from the people and was generally not recorded in studios until quite recently; instead, it was a way for small communities to share in their culture and faith

Music from this genre usually incorporates instruments such as guitar, ukulele and the fiddle.  

Christian Christmas Music

Christian Christmas music is a compilation of many styles of music, originating from the Christian holiday of Christmas. Songs in this genre explore a variety of Christian themes, Christian values and of course, the story of Jesus’ birth, which is what Christmas is about

As our society becomes more secularised, other songs in the Christmas music genre have gained popularity, offering only seasonal themes’ that don’t always include the Christian element. Christian Christmas Musicians offer a completely Christian experience with their music, focusing on Christian Christmas message.   

Christian Electronic Dance Music

Electronic Dance Music, otherwise known as EDM, also has a sub-genre called Christian EDM, which has a small but dedicated following

Music from this genre is made with electronic instruments such as synthesisers and drum machines. The main difference between mainstream and Christian EDM is that Christian EDM tracks that have lyrics focus on Christian values. 

The style has come under criticism, particularly Christian EDM with no lyrics, as there is then little to distinguish Christian EDM from other forms of electronic dance music.

Christian musicians who create music in this genre argue that their art from expresses the Christian message without the need for lyrics. 

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