Old Versus New Styles of Christian Music

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Sometimes people are very concerned with the age of music (as in how old it is), and the differences between the many different musical styles. In the fast-paced worldly music industry, things go out of date very fast indeed. This is important, since (among other things) it allows for the continuation of consumer demand for new music and new purchases.

Notice: This page is still in semi-draft form.

Christians believe that the Bible is the living word of God. It's the primary resource that we base our lives on. And yet, it's not really that new. Compared to say nineties music, or eighties music, (or 70s, or 60s, or..... gasp... music from a bygone age like perhaps 1930 or even before the year 1900) — the Bible is a lot older than that.

Things like this are often seem in the Bible:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

This and other verses from the Bible are thousands of years old. Meanwhile, in the music scene (and even sometimes in the Christian one), it's a lot more complicated than that. Music is classified in many different ways, including by the decade (and sometimes by periods of just a few years). Music that was written a few years ago is regarded by many as in a totally different category to music that was written (or recorded) last week, or twenty years ago. And, more often than not, people will have an extremely strong preference for one type over another.

And that's not all — many other things are regarded as critically important. Such as the particular way something was recorded. The brand/company that manufactured the equipment used with playing and making the music. The miniscule details of difference between the way one person sings or plays something compared to another person. (Of course now we have all those reality TV shows which highlight these differences to the absolute extreme).

The end result is that it really does take a lot of time, money, and effort to perform (or record) music that most people in today's modern society are going to be satisfied with.

This is extremely true in the secular music industry. Yet it's also somewhat true in Christian music. There are so many features that are important to get just right, otherwise people will be unsatisfied with the quality of their experience listening to that music.

The longer I was involved in Christian music, the more I thought about what God would think of all that — and how much of it God (or Jesus) would really require in order to be pleased with our words, chords, riffs, beats, and other musical elements that we perform as an expression of worship. I probably noticed it more than most people because of my background in non-Christian music, and the way that turned out for me. But notice it, I did. And it started to really bug me how I'd become fixated on trying to get everything "just right" and be as much like the popular secular musical artists as possible. And also to be like the massively popular Christian musical artists.

As if doing that was the only way that a Christian musical performance would be good enough.

There are many reasons why people like, or dislike things — including music. A big one is whether they believe that other people like it or not. One is that it gives them a feeling of connection with other people. One is (conversely) that it can give them a feeling of independence from other people (e.g. their parents, in many cases). Another huge one is that it's what they feel like they are supposed to like (or not like).

Since there's an almost unimaginable amount of different music out there, it's impossible to listen to it all, so there has to be some way of filtering what you're going to listen to (and play in your worship life), or not.

Does It Really Matter?

Eventually I came to the conclusion that music as an act of prayer and worship did not require fourteen lifetimes of practice, plus tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars of factory-made items, plus many other things which mirror the world's music industry, before God could be happy with it. Or before it could be played as an act of expressing my love for Jesus Christ. Or before I could use it for reminding myself of different aspects of my Christian faith. Or — even — for expressing those aspects of Christianity with other people in a musical performance.

More on this topic to follow later...