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A Christian Music Guide

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Music forms an integral part of all communities and religions. Christian music is no exception to that. Christian music primarily consists of the music played and sung in churches for the purpose of worshipping and praising the Lord. Christian music has different forms and has a different name for each form. However, Christian music also conforms to the music outside the regular church service.

The various forms of Christian music include anthem, antiphon, cantata, chant, chorale, hymn, mass, motet, plainsong, carol and oratorio.

An anthem is a song sung with a religious or political significance having a meaning itself. An anthem can be sung in church or any other place with or without any other companions. By Christian terminology it often denotes a song sung for praising loyalty. An antiphon is sung after the narration of a psalm or canticle in response to it. A cantata is performed primarily by a group of people who sing in the church and are known as the choir. However, a cantata can also comprise of solo performances accompanied by musical instruments. A chant is a repeated utterance of short and simple words or syllables sung in the same tone and melody.

A chorale is a German hymn known to be much more simpler than the English ones. They came into existence to replace the plainsongs in order to be sung to announce the congregation participation in the liturgy. A hymn is sung as note of thanksgiving, devotion and praise towards the lord almighty. A mass is sung to celebrate public celebrations mostly in the Roman Catholic Churches and a few Protestant Churches. A motet comprises of the sacred text, mostly from the Bible, and is usually sung alone without any companion. Any Christian song sung without the restrictions of meter are known as plainsong. Often plainsong is also sung alone. A carol usually celebrates joy and celebration such as the Christmas carols. They are accompanied with dancing and loud singing in groups. An oratorio is a musical composition accompanied with orchestra and chorus depicting a sacred tale without any kind of stage enactments.

The Christian music has evolved over the years keeping in tact its tradition and customs and yet, giving way for the contemporary Christian music, largely influenced by the secular music. The music from the different gospels along with the Christian Country Music is the most popular forms of music in the US.

Christian Pop Music

Pop music is considered to be the short form of 'popular music'. Pop music generally appeals to the teenage and young section of the listeners. It is mostly accompanied by electronic musical equipments and is characterized by a heavy rhythmic pattern. The themes may include personal or loud group emotions, although the most common and popular themes are derived from emotional or physical love themes.

Christian pop music found its existence in the term Contemporary Christian Music in the year 1970, which was based on Christian Faith. The music derived its root from the 'hippie Jesus Movement', from which the genre of 'Jesus Music' began. In the early days, Christian pop music consisted of folk pop songs depicting the artists' belief and faith in Jesus. Soon, Christian pop music became quite popular and began being aired on various radio stations and sold in local stores. Popular artists like Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith made the Christian pop music a flourishing Industry by 1980 when millions of their records started getting sold. The early Christian pop music was divided into four main groups known as the separatist, purist, spiritually reflective and incidental positions. Each group prophesied their own view in deciding the motive and themes of the pop music and composed music accordingly.

Eventually, this separate genre of music was opposed by some of the other artists who deviated from this genre to form other Christian music genres such as hip hop, punk, alternative, metal etc. Some of these artists include Lost Dogs, Joy Electric etc. In the present scenario however, Christian pop music has found its place beside all the other existing genres of Christian music. The contemporary pop music is a combination of inspirational, sacred, gospels and emotions strains. Over the years, quite a number of artists have made Christian pop music durable and popular among the young generations.

Christian Music Charts

Music charts usually functions as an overall rating report of the contemporary songs based on their popularity and music quality. Like every other genre of music, songs belonging to the Christian music also find its way up and down the music charts decided by the various criterions. An overall survey is done through various means of communications such as Internet polls, sms and of course letters and online public forums. Based on this survey a song would enter the hit chart and find its position on the top slot. These positions may vary from one week to another as new songs and albums keep entering the music charts. As a result, the song or album, which was on the top slot a week before, can lose its position and come down the rating charts.

The way of airing and popularizing a song or an album, are the various radio stations and innumerable television channels. These radio stations and television channels help in making these songs and albums popular, which in turn help them enter the music charts. However, these music charts are not always the best way to judge the quality of a song or an album. Often, it might be possible that a really good song has not been able to enter the music charts because it is not a part of a very high budget project. In that case song does not appear on air or television channels and thus is not a part of the top music charts of a country or state.

Usually Christian music charts are divided according to the different genres of Christian music such as Contemporary, Rock, Adult Contemporary, Inspirational, Pop to name a few. However, they can also show an overall rating combining all the genres and types of music prevalent. The songs and albums are often listed starting with the most popular ones on top and the count going up with the following numbers. Christian music charts can be found in the various online websites, and are transmitted through multiple radio and television channels regularly.

Christian Karaoke Music

The word 'Karaoke' derives its meaning from the combination of two Japanese terms. 'Kara' in Japanese means empty or void and 'oke' means orchestra. Together they formed 'Karaoke' to establish a different genre of Christian music. Karaoke music is a live performance by the artist accompanied by a pre-recorded orchestra. It is very popular in a lot of places, including stage performances. The pre-recorded orchestra and video displays act as a guide to the singer whose microphone volume is usually kept low. The singer merely lips the songs, which are already played in the background.

Christian Karaoke music shows usually take place in open areas such as parks, fairs and other public get-togethers, which provides a platform for all those who are not so confident about their singing alone. The pre-recorded voice helps them to sing along and yet participate in the shows. This also serves as another way of spreading the word of God providing the flexibility of local gatherings instead of going to the church. Christian Karaoke music often consists of hymns and other popular genres of Christian music which, when played and participated by the general people help in making them popular. Although, usual Karaoke music is popular in bars and nightclubs Christian Karaoke Music do not associate itself with such places and is mostly comprised of gospels, carols and other religious streams. Singing along with the Karaoke has become a popular profession and various websites have come up to train the singer about the ways off singing in a Christian Karaoke.

Christian Karaoke Music lists are available on most online music shopping websites with the latest and most popular artists and albums in store. However, it is advisable to compare and check the different sites and price rates offered by them before buying a certain album. Prices may vary depending on the popularity and music chart ratings of an album.


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