Why is “Christian Music” a separate category altogether? This may be a touchy subject, but one which I find interesting and one I just don’t understand. Okay, let’s break this down. Every name for genres of music describe the actual style of the music, rather than the content. Rap, country, rock, jazz, classical. They all refer to the style of the bands or artists in that category. Christian music on the other hand could be rock, pop, country or whatever style and still fall in the “Christian” category.
I’ve been trying and trying to think of another genre that categorizes bands based on content rather than style and I just cant think of another one. At least not on the same mainstream scale. Last time I checked they didn’t have an Amish only radio station (joke intended).
I may sound like it, but I don’t have a problem with real “Christian music” or rather “worship music”. The part I find interesting and fail to understand is why a band who has Christian beliefs gets lumped into the Christian category. What makes a band a Christian one? As soon as they mention Jesus, are they a Christian band? As I recall Brand New has a song named “Jesus” and they don’t get lumped into the genre with bands like Relient K, Hawk Nelson, Emery, and others. I’m not arguing whether it’s good or band to get that label, I’m still trying to figure out what or who determines those things.
I know there are a lot of bands that don’t want to be labeled “Christian” because that alone would cut off part of the fan base. Some people hear that about a band and won’t listen to them or won’t give them a chance based on that.
Good music is music that is honest. A band’s thoughts, opinions, and feelings on love and life will come out through the lyrics. Some people believe in God, some don’t. Some people believe in faith and hope, and some don’t. Some people like rock and some like rap.
Tyler Hayes says
I know its a huge business, and the more i think about I’m pretty sure the church is who spurs this on. I’m a Christian, and I dont really want to fall on either side. Like I dont care if people call there band a “christian band” I dont think its cool or right to hide in that cloak though. If your calling your abnd a christian one to get ahead some where or so you dont have to stand up to the lyrics you write, well then thats where I think it should not be done.
Ben Mordecai says
I think praise and worship and Christian should be seperate.
Praise and worship is what Christians sing to God, the recordings are to teach the songs and to motivate individuals to worship God. This music is not really expected to appeal to the secular market, and thats probably a good thing.
P&W is a genre but Christian music isn’t really a genre, it usually fits in another genre. The difference is the content, and that they play music that is usually lyrically about Christian themes or might even be to give exposer to others who might never get a “non-traditional” view of Christianity.
I don’t think it is a marketing thing because, as you said, a lot of times being labeled a Christian band instantly cuts off all interest to the secular scene, and so a lot of bands are Christian, but reject the label because they find it unneccessary and limiting. After all, they are just people making music about what is meaningful to them. Some bands like Thrice, Sufjan Stevens, and As I Lay Dying are like this.
I’m Christian and I listen to P&W, Christian, and Non-Christian music. I think the key is to not get caught up in what they’re labeled as and instead just listen. They’re no different if they’re called Christian.
There may be some people who will only buy Christian labeled music, and will buy any Christian music, and for them, let them spend what they’re going to spend their money on. Oh well.
Mark Piland says
Personally, I’m not Christian, but I’m not against bands that are full of Christian members or whatever other break off of Catholisicm they may choose to follow. I think that when they start preaching and talking to God in their music, that’s the point they become a Christian band. Undertones are even ok because those can be interpreted into various meanings. And to Ben, I know this like 2 years late lol, but Thrice isn’t a Christian band and most their songs are political or self revelation about love and life. Rarely do they speak of God itself or anything that really relates to it.