May 19, 2024

Two Kinds of Worship Music

Most of us are probably aware that churches use various styles of music. Some, like us, are traditional and conservative in our selection and use of music. We use music that is often hundreds of years old and that is quite robust in its doctrinal content. This style of traditional hymnody does not imitate modern styles of music.

The other option that many churches use might be called contemporary Christian music. This music is usually relatively new; it has been composed recently. CCM imitates what is popular in the culture. It sounds pretty much like top-40s hit radio. It uses the musical forms, styles, and methods that are popular in the culture and inserts biblical or Christian lyrics. If you didn’t hear the lyrics, you would have no idea that it was Christian music.

These two kinds of music reflect far more than mere taste or preference. These two musical options reflect two different approaches to the worship of God in the context of the church.

Quote:  Music is not simply a neutral container for lyrical ideas—music embodies an interpretation of those ideas. So with worship songs, the music embodies both an interpretation of the particular words of the song and an interpretation of what is actually happening in the worship service.[1]

I.e., the kind of music we use reflects our purposes in the worship service—what are we trying to accomplish? What we expect from the service dictates the kind of music we use.

Today I want to compare and contrast two different kinds of music that churches use, and I want to emphasize how these different styles have two different purposes.



[1] Scott Aniol.

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