Genres of Christian Musicians
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 music; some people prefer more light-hearted music and others prefer something substantially more serious. So it’s only natural that after centuries of development and experimentation that we live in a world filled with a diverse array of music.
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Michael W. Smith
Styles and Genres of Christian Music
As there are many different styles and genres of music, there are also many different styles and genres in the Christian music industry.
Some of the most popular genres include: gospel, 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 messag
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 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.
Like Christian rock, Christian metal music is a genre that stems from heavy metal and Christian music.
Musicians in this genre will dedicate their music to sharing their beliefs and faith in Christianity. Christian 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 lyrics. The 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.
Initially, music from this genre was played by bands or groups, although over the past decade solo artists have increased exponentially. This genre of music has grown from being predominantly played at church services and youth groups and is now played on world wide stages with huge audiences.
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 era. Music from this genre is played with instruments such as saxophone, drum kit, bass and electric guitar, vocals, horns and piano.
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 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 brand. Christian 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.
GMA Dove Awards
The GMA Dove Awards is an annual Christian music awards show presented by the Gospel Music Association. The show features performances by gospel artists and concludes with the presentation of awards in various categories.
Gospel Music Awards
The Gospel Music Awards is an annual event that celebrates the best in gospel music. The awards are presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of recorded music.
The Covenant Awards are a music awards show that takes place every year in Los Angeles, California. The awards are given out to honor the best in Christian music. The show is produced by the Gospel Music Association (GMA), and has been held annually since 1967.