Christian music

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Christian music is music that is written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding the Christian life, as well as to exist as a Christian alternative to main stream secular music.


  • Like all music, the figured bass should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the recreation of the soul; where this is not kept in mind there is no true music, but only an infernal clamour and ranting.
    • Johann Sebastian Bach, quoted in Ludwig Prautzsch Bibel und Symbol in den Werken Bachs p. 7 [1]; translation from Albert Schweitzer (trans. Ernest Newman) J. S. Bach (New York: Dover, 1966) vol. 1, p. 167.
  • Where there is devotional music, God with his grace is always present.
    • Johann Sebastian Bach, Original: "Bei einer andächtigen Musik ist allezeit Gott mit seiner Gnaden Gegenwart".
  • We have brought into our churches certain operatic and theatrical music; such a confused, disorderly chattering of some words as I hardly think was ever in any of the Grecian or Roman theatres. The church rings with the noise of trumpets, pipes, and dulcimers; and human voices strive to bear their part with them. Men run to church as to a theatre, to have their ears tickled. And for this end organ makers are hired with great salaries, and a company of boys, who waste all their time learning these whining tones.
    • Erasmus, Commentary on I Cor. 14:19
  • Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) has grown over a long period of time. Its foundations are evident in the early hymns of various Protestant faiths. Overtures of intimacy and sentimentality were mixed with Christian music in the 19th century as the feminine ideal of piety combined with the temperance crusade emerged. Even militaristic themes characterized hymns in the early 20th century as the world and the United States fought several major wars.
    By the 1960s, however, Evangelicals began to realize that "Bringing in the Sheaves" on Sundays couldn't begin to compete with weekday broadcasts of "Hey Jude" and "I Can't Get No Satisfaction," especially among younger listeners. Composer Ralph Carmichael began the CCM renaissance with pieces such as "Pass It On" and "He's Everything to Me." Musical creativity burst onto the Christian music scene as the younger generation brought its hippie culture, with music largely devoid of theological divisions, into various churches.

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