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The Many Genres of Christian Music

We all probably know a couple religious hymns, but today's fast-paced society is changing, and so is the style of music we listen to.

Christian music has developed tremendously over the last century to represent the changing style of music that we enjoy. Contemporary music offers up-to-date music styles with the same traditional Christian message within the lyrics. In fact, Contemporary Christian music is growing quickly in popularity, and so is the number of subgenres offered to those interested in listening. In this article we discuss a few of the newer genres in Christian music.


Contemporary music literally covers all genres of new age Christian music, but is most commonly associated with a new movement of Christian music that has alternative rock, pop, and country sounds. The contemporary movement began in the 1960s, with this type of music then referred to as Jesus music. Some Christians dispute whether or not the contemporary tones fit into their religion, but contemporary is a popular genre that gives Protestant listeners an alternative faith-based style of music. The growth of contemporary styles has been strong since the mid 1990s, and newer artists and subgenres help to continue the expansion of Christian music.

Hip Hop

Christian hip hop, or gospel rap, is a unique genre of Christian music. Due to the often sinful nature of mainstream rap lyrics, it has been a tough road for Christian rap artists to gain popularity. However, beginning in the 1990s Christian rap has become popular with the younger generation looking for an uplifting form of music that reflects their urban lifestyle. The most popular innovators among Christian hip hop artists would likely be DC Talk, who took the music scene by storm in the late 1980s before making a switch to a more pop sound in the mid 1990s. Christian hip hop is a fabulous way for Christians to spread their faith to kids from the street and other youth looking for a fresh music genre.


If gospel music does not fill your sole with spirit, then I am not sure what can! Gospel music is uplifting, inspiring, and fun to listen to. When most think of gospel music, churches in the south come to mind. In fact, gospel music has been thought to have started during times of slavery in the late 1800s. The genre of gospel became more defined and gained popularity in the first quarter of the twentieth century, and is now listened to worldwide. Gospel music is known for its strong vocals surrounded by electric guitars, bass, and drums. Gospel music thrives today and is certainly considered a staple of Christian music.

Christian Rock

Christian rock music covers a lot of ground with many different subgenres contained within the rock category. The "sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll" explosion in the 1960s certainly made many Christians wary of jumping into the rock scene, but by the early 1970s Christian rock bands began to separate themselves from a demonic image, and instead produced Christian lyrics with rock tones. Today many bands are considered Christian rock artists, some more devoted to the Christian title than others. Although some might not realize this, the band U2 was a catalyst for Christian rock in the 1990s based on their enormous success beginning in the 1980s.

This is hardly a complete list of Christian music genres, but sampling some of these genres will give you a good taste of the great listening Christian music offers. Finding your favorite genre is important and will certainly enhance your experience. Being able to listen to your favorite Christian bands at home or on the go is a relaxing way to worship throughout the day.

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