What is Inspirational Music anyway? In a nutshell, it encompasses all kinds of genres from Gospel to Christian to Adult Contemporary, Children’s music, Classical Crossover and Instrumental.
- Christian Metal
- Christian Pop
- Christian Rap
- Christian Rock
- Classic Christian
- Contemporary Gospel
- Christian & Gospel
- Praise & Worship
- Qawwali (with thx to Jillian Edwards)
- Southern Gospel
- Traditional Gospel
The genre that would eventually be known as Contemporary Christian music came from the Jesus movement revival of the latter 1960s and early 1970s, and was originally called “Jesus music”. “About that time, many young people from the sixties’ counterculture professed to believe in Jesus. Convinced of the bareness of a lifestyle based on drugs, free sex, and radical politics, ‘hippies’ became ‘Jesus people'”.[ Of course there were people who felt like Jesus was another “trip”. “The ‘Jesus Movement’ of the 1970s was when things really started changing and Christian music began to become an industry within itself.””Jesus Music” started by playing instruments and singing songs about love and peace, which then translated into love of God. Paul Wohlegemuth, who wrote the book Rethinking Church Music said, “[the] 1970s will see a marked acceptance of rock-influenced music in all levels of church music. The rock style will become more familiar to all people, its rhythmic excesses will become refined, and its earlier secular associations will be less remembered.”
Looking for Inspiration?
- Julia Wade
- Julia Wade is a performer whose work spans a number of different musical genres – from classical to Broadway to pop. With her incredible three octave range, she has thrilled audiences and inspired people all over the world with her deep commitment to her music.
- Brooke Fraser
- 24 year old Brooke Fraser is a pop phenomenon in New Zealand and Australia where sales of her latest album, ‘Albertine’ and debut ‘What To Do With Daylight’ have together sold over 225,000 units. She is a multi-platinum artist in her native New Zealand and Australia, who made her North American debut last month with Albertine. The disc is currently featured on iTunes as an “editor’s music choice” and has broken into the Top 10 Albums alongside artists like Coldplay, John Mayer and Katy Perry.
- Mindy Jostyn
- For nearly ten years, Mindy Jostyn toured throughout the eastern United States wowing audiences with her soulful voice, distinctive melodies, witty and insightful lyrics, and her command of a host of different instruments including guitar, violin, harmonica, accordion, and piano.
- Lew Doty
- Lew Doty, although influenced over the years by many artists, has developed a style that is all his own. His lyrics are filled with spiritual principles, his voice ranges from angelic and tender to smoky and hard-driving.
- Jenny Burton
- Jenny Burton is an amazing Gospel vocalist whose career has spanned several decades. She has sung all over the world and both as a solo performer and with The Jenny Burton Experience
Though there were Christian albums in the 1960s that contained contemporary-sounding songs, there were two albums recorded in 1969 that are considered to be the first complete albums of “Jesus rock”: Upon This Rock (1969) by Larry Norman initially released on Capitol Records, and Mylon – We Believe by Mylon LeFevre, released by Cotillion, which was LeFevre’s attempt at blending gospel music with southern rock. Unlike traditional or southern gospel music, this new Jesus music was birthed out of rock and folk music.
Pioneers of this movement also included 2nd Chapter of Acts, Andraé Crouch and the Disciples, Evie, Nancy Honeytree, The Imperials, Love Song, Barry McGuire, and Petra. The small Jesus music culture had expanded into a multi-million-dollar industry by the 1980s. Many CCM artists such as Amy Grant, DC Talk, Michael W. Smith, Stryper, and Jars of Clay found crossover success with Top 40 mainstream radio play. As of 2005, sales of Christian music exceeded those for classical, jazz, Latin, New Age, and soundtrack music.
Great article on the Inspirational vs. Christian Music Genre
iTunes have recently replaced the ‘Christian/Gospel’ genre with ‘Inspirational’. Music stores have a ‘Christian’ section. Both are such broad and inaccurate classifications.
Why is there a genre for ‘Christian’ music anyway? What makes a song ‘Christian’ or ‘Inspirational’?
The music? No.
The performer’s beliefs? Not necessarily.
The lyrics? Probably, but how many references to God or Jesus does a song need to crossover into this category?
Michael Gungor believes it is odd to have a genre that is based on religion: “no other music is categorised by the content of it’s lyrics. There is no Buddhist or Atheist section of a record store.”
‘The Crowd, The Critic & The Muse’ is a great read, particularly for creative people. I highly recommend this book, which looks at the highs and the lows of an artists journey in a brutally honest way.
‘Christian’ music is labeled as such to target a specific subculture. The music industry is massive, but three record labels represent over 80% of the global market. ie. Universal, Sony and Warner. Most of the other labels are owned by one of these companies, so it’s a pretty incestuous industry. We live in a capitalist society and executives work hard to maximise sales and profits. But in their pursuit of the almighty dollar, the quality of art can suffer.
What do you think about the whole topic of musical genre’s?
Full article here
Best Inspiration Music Genre Songs?
- Amazing Grace
- I Saw The Light
- When The Saints Go Marching In
- I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
- Eye Of The Tiger
- Hold Your Head Up by Argent
- You’re The Inspiration by Chicago
- How Great Thou Are
- The Unclouded Day
- Oh Happy Day
- I’m Just An Old Chunk Of Coal