This week the suppressed musicologist in me has decided to break out after two weeks of posts about modern Christian music. At risk of sounding old and grumpy about the hipster music vibes coming from modern worship music…. I will say the lack of reverence in some worship music is problematic.
If you’re worshipping God, then there’s got to be a sense of awe about it; a sense of majesty, nobility, royalty, even. Christians often think in monarchical terms and refer to God as their King. If you’re singing to God then there should be respect and awe, however you demonstrate it.
As I say, the (at times) lack of this is problematic and, for many people, a real turn off.
Whilst some people like Church to be modern (ie loud music, high energy vibes) others prefer a quiet place of reflection. They’re looking for a space that reflects the wonders of the universe and that space is also created by the music that is played within the Church.
I remember listening to Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus during a musicology class within my Arts degree. It certainly wasn’t the first time I’d heard the piece, but the sound system was good, and the music bounced around the space in the room. We were encouraged to just listen, so I shut my eyes.
I remember the lecturer telling us that this piece from The Messiah was actually the first pop song ever. Her argument being ‘Just look at the chord progression’. I agree. It really is a pop song.
So, you may have thought I was about to have a whinge about how I don’t think we should have guitars in Church and that pop music is wrong in worship. That’s not my point at all.
I do know there are people who don’t think Christians should use electronic music in Church. Their argument is that there aren’t any electrical instruments in The Bible. Personally, I can’t recall any organs being used in The Bible either and usually the anti-guitars people are pro-organ… clearly that position needs a rethink…
Yet I do find some modern Church music irreverent… and not amazing in quality either, but that is subjective. It’s not because what they’re playing is pop music. It’s because their pop music isn’t as good as Handel’s pop music. Maybe some musicians should pray about how to fix that.
In the meantime, they (and you and I) can take a listen to Handel’s Messiah or purchase some tracks here.
The music is amazing and so are the words.
Yours in Baroque Pop,