What is "Worship Music"?

Ruok

Silver Member
Questions:

Are artists like Amy Grant, who is a christian artist, played/sung in service?

Do y'all listen to worship music outside of church?

Does being a worship musician change your outlook on music in general?*

I'm honestly curious. I dont participate in religious get togethers so I have no idea. I have nothing against any of it, it just doesnt jive with my personal philosophies.

*This question is nondenominational and is in no way intended to start a discussion about how religion influences anything, including music.

I'll try to be careful to answer some of these questions without getting into religion. Yes. For me, being a worship musician absolutely does/did change my outlook on music in general. I learned that all music, I mean music in and of itself, effects the mind, body and soul. Music itself does way more than just entertain us. I will leave it there.

I cannot listen to the popular modern worship songs except for a few here and there. This became an issue with me and partly contributed to my decision for leaving the worship team. We would all get the link from YouTube of the new song to learn and we would obviously be required to listen to it prior to coming to practice. Because the style is so unlikable to me, it became more and more difficult over time to even finish listening to the original songs. To me it is similar to eating food you don't like and forcing it in as a steady diet. Week after week I was showing up for practice knowing I'm about to play a new song that I don't care for. Plus, I have to play all the other non-new songs that I don't care for too.

That being said, I do regularly listen to all kinds of CCM. There is some amazing CCM songs in every genre out there that is not considered "worship music." Take Kerry Livgren (formerly of the band Kansas), for example. His "Christian" songs can be super complex and the lyrics would not suit a service. His solo work is awesome, as well as the early 80s stuff he did with the band A.D.

The CCM that I listen to regularly besides Kerry Livgren/AD are groups like DeGarmo and Key; Resurrection Band (also called Rez Band); Keith Green; Paul Clark (his late 70s and early 80s music to be exact); Chuck Girard; Daniel Amos (who did everything from country to alternative music); Darrell Mansfield; Third Day; David Zaffiro; Don Francisco; Fireworks; Larry Norman; Leviticus (the Swedish Band); Lost Dogs, Mark Heard; Pat Terry; Matthew Ward; Michael Omartian; Michael Card; Dallas Holm, Novella; Petra; Phil Keaggy; Randy Stonehill; Richie Furay; Wall Brothers; and many others. Some of these bands/solo artists went through many musical genres, so I might like only a certain time period of their music.

I also love a lot of instrumental CCM that might include original pieces as well as hymns. One particular instrumental favorite is Phil Keaggy's "The Wind and the Wheat" album from 1987. The album has Alex Acuna and Ronn Tutt on drums. I'm not sure if it is even available anymore. If anyone wants to mellow out, here you go...

 

Mr Farkle

Well-known member
I'll try to be careful to answer some of these questions without getting into religion. Yes. For me, being a worship musician absolutely does/did change my outlook on music in general. I learned that all music, I mean music in and of itself, effects the mind, body and soul. Music itself does way more than just entertain us. I will leave it there.

I cannot listen to the popular modern worship songs except for a few here and there. This became an issue with me and partly contributed to my decision for leaving the worship team. We would all get the link from YouTube of the new song to learn and we would obviously be required to listen to it prior to coming to practice. Because the style is so unlikable to me, it became more and more difficult over time to even finish listening to the original songs. To me it is similar to eating food you don't like and forcing it in as a steady diet. Week after week I was showing up for practice knowing I'm about to play a new song that I don't care for. Plus, I have to play all the other non-new songs that I don't care for too.

That being said, I do regularly listen to all kinds of CCM. There is some amazing CCM songs in every genre out there that is not considered "worship music." Take Kerry Livgren (formerly of the band Kansas), for example. His "Christian" songs can be super complex and the lyrics would not suit a service. His solo work is awesome, as well as the early 80s stuff he did with the band A.D.

The CCM that I listen to regularly besides Kerry Livgren/AD are groups like DeGarmo and Key; Resurrection Band (also called Rez Band); Keith Green; Paul Clark (his late 70s and early 80s music to be exact); Chuck Girard; Daniel Amos (who did everything from country to alternative music); Darrell Mansfield; Third Day; David Zaffiro; Don Francisco; Fireworks; Larry Norman; Leviticus (the Swedish Band); Lost Dogs, Mark Heard; Pat Terry; Matthew Ward; Michael Omartian; Michael Card; Dallas Holm, Novella; Petra; Phil Keaggy; Randy Stonehill; Richie Furay; Wall Brothers; and many others. Some of these bands/solo artists went through many musical genres, so I might like only a certain time period of their music.

I also love a lot of instrumental CCM that might include original pieces as well as hymns. One particular instrumental favorite is Phil Keaggy's "The Wind and the Wheat" album from 1987. The album has Alex Acuna and Ronn Tutt on drums. I'm not sure if it is even available anymore. If anyone wants to mellow out, here you go...


No joke I was reading through your list of artists waiting for you to mention Keaggy. Many years ago a couple of friends brought me to one of his solo performances. Just him, his guitar and a looping pedal. I’ve never seen anyone play at that level. He was amazing.

I don’t know if I would classify him or some others on your list as CCM though?
 

Vapor Trail

Junior Member
As a fan of some progressive rock who also realizes that a lot of it isn't very good (especially some of the newer stuff), I largely support this message. ;)

Don't want to hijack thread, but can't "it sucks" be said for some music in EVERY genre?

Wait, I'll answer that: yes, it can. No reason to knock a particular style in an effort to promote another. That's just silly.
 

wraub

Well-known member
Yes, this is true.
But, to my mind, "progressive" music, by it's nature, should aspire to something more than the usual. Music that is described as such but merely sounds like pop music that goes into a 5 or a 7 every now and then, I'm gonna call it unacceptable to me.
That said, some "progressive pop" music can do that and I'm fine.
Splitting hairs, I guess. I am a fickle thing.

Also, I'm not knocking one style to promote another- I freely admit that Sturgeon got it right, and 90% of everything is crap. ;)




Don't want to hijack thread, but can't "it sucks" be said for some music in EVERY genre?

Wait, I'll answer that: yes, it can. No reason to knock a particular style in an effort to promote another. That's just silly.
 

brady

Platinum Member
Drummer Dan Bailey talked about this in regards to Contemporary Christian music. Something to the effect of the music being written to be simple enough to be played by amateurs in churches. I think church play is connected to the commercial success of the song.

I also don’t want to be super negative but I would like to see a change for the better, especially if the music has been driven to its current state for the sake of commercial success. What could be more contrary to its purpose?

Exactly!! It seems like such a cash grab to me. SO greedy!! What other genre of music has a dozen covers of the same song? Especially within such a short time span of it being a hit.

Not to mention the clear "Christian version" equivalent of popular acts. Like this crappy Jason Mraz knockoff guy from a few years back...
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I love so many of the prog giants like Weckl and Pridgin. But let’s be honest—it sucks.
Weckl and Pridgin are prog legends? Pridgen wasn't alive when prog happened, and Dave Weckl wasn't part of that scene.

Here we go, let's have a genre fight!
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Weckl and Pridgin are prog legends? Pridgen wasn't alive when prog happened, and Dave Weckl wasn't part of that scene.

Here we go, let's have a genre fight!

LOL Then what’s Mars Volta? Pridgin played with them for years. If you only claim early prog, that’s fine, it wasn’t bad, but I still don’t know what to call Dream Theater, Mars Volta, or any other group that can’t stick with a time signature and loves overplaying.
 

Weave2112

Active member
Worship music: Every song sounds exactly the same, usually 74 BPM in 4, but occasionally they throw you a bone with a 6/8 at 120....be sure to keep an eye on the worship leader for the surprise extra measure or the facial expression that tells you you're too loud or that the guitar player is rushing, but you're the one he/she is going to blame. Oh, and no one can understand the words because you have to sing in that whiney, slurred words phrasing that's so popular today... (I say all this jokingly - I play every Sunday in the worship band at my own church, and quite enjoy the experience).
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Worship music: Every song sounds exactly the same, usually 74 BPM in 4, but occasionally they throw you a bone with a 6/8 at 120....be sure to keep an eye on the worship leader for the surprise extra measure or the facial expression that tells you you're too loud or that the guitar player is rushing, but you're the one he/she is going to blame. Oh, and no one can understand the words because you have to sing in that whiney, slurred words phrasing that's so popular today... (I say all this jokingly - I play every Sunday in the worship band at my own church, and quite enjoy the experience).
How are the snacks and coffee? Epic I hope.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I love playing in church. That is the only place I could play in 2020. I have an acoustic guitar and have been writing praise and worship songs. I learned a long time ago that considering the billions of people in the world, my opinion and desires do not matter. Peace and goodwill.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
What makes a good worship band? What makes the experience worthy? A good worship leader and a pastor who supports the music. I went from a church where the pastor “permitted” music because it was part of The Vineyard heritage (John Wimber was a member of the Righteous Brothers), to a [Methodist] church where the pastor loved prog rock and went to RosFest every year. There was much more freedom and enjoyment at the latter church.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
LOL Then what’s Mars Volta? Pridgin played with them for years. If you only claim early prog, that’s fine, it wasn’t bad, but I still don’t know what to call Dream Theater, Mars Volta, or any other group that can’t stick with a time signature and loves overplaying.
You could write your own, genuinely original music in the hard bop genre for instance, and you could probably even call yourselves a hard bop quartet doing just your brand new original music that strictly follows the traits of hard bop. But hard bop was a thing that happened at a specific time, and its legends were set in stone at that time.
Same w/ prog rock: it had a time, not just a description. If a music is progressive in some form, and also rock, it doesn't automatically qualify. And personally I don't see much connection between prog and TMV. Odd time signatures does not a prog band make. ;) However, for some odd reason if the music you're playing would sound good being played wearing kimonos, then it has a chance of being prog.
I have this same problem but worse with punk bands. Someone says 'I play in a punk band". I say "you're playing with the Sex Pistols?" There was only one. Then a bunch of malcontents with safety pins in their faces followed, playing garage rock and such.
 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
I swear if I had an EAD10 or audio/video recording gear I would start a thread called Heathen Chops and play double kick, blast beats, and giant fills all over normal music just because I can. That is the point, right?

I'm finding irony in the Worship Packs of cymbals. Darker sounding cymbals, eh? If they were marketed as "darker" would churches be less likely to buy them for fear of unholy intervention?
I've played so called modern Worship Music. (not the stuff written in ancient times) Hey, it's a std Rock beat nothing more, nothing less..lots on YouTube. I note that the cymbal boys are selling "Worship Music Pak"
I guess they are muted at time of mfr so as not to drown out vocalists, choirs and/or congregation singing or scare the kids. So I muted my drums, tape etc to get that more subdued 70s phat sound. The older worship music was generally 4/4 played std shuffle style while a lot of the newer is 6/8 but basically it's just Rock..Kick..1-1,2, R.H on closed Hat 1/8 notes and L.H. a std back beat and maybe the odd "Round the Horn" on the three Toms assuming your kit has that many. Just don't launch into a five minute solo and cut into "praying and preaching" time !
 
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