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Dpaula
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« on: May 17, 2013, 10:12:35 PM »

I was curious what everybody thinks about the music they sing in the Protestant churches? Do you like it? Do they send a message? Do you understand the message?  How should an Orthodox listen to all these songs? Do we learn anything from them? Does it uplift you? Does it give you a boost? Does it entertain you? Do you "feel" it?

Take for example this one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h1rBW1731Q

To me, they sound like the American Idol finalists and I just don't get it.
I am mesmerized by the Orthodox hymns that usually take me someplace else where I actually feel this indescribable inner peace.

Since I have no experience with the world of Protestantism, I was wondering if "Christian music" is something Orthodox people appreciate. And if yes, what do you like about it?






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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2013, 10:14:39 PM »

Protestant music is usually garbage.

EDIT: At least the more modern ones, I also like some of the Anglican ones.
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2013, 10:25:13 PM »

The stuff on K-LOVE is annoying and forgettable, but I have a special place in my heart for the '75 Baptist Hymnal, even if many of the tunes in it were written by sentimental fundamentalists.
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 12:00:46 AM »

As a musician here are my two cents:

I think much of the bad rap (no pun intended) that Christian music gets is not due to the subject matter per se. I think any musician that makes his or her music overtly about any subject, that usually leads to the production of just bad music. The joy that people get out of music is found in its subtleties. For this reason, a lot of Christian (protestant?), modern music comes off as unauthentic and strained.

Also the link you posted above would sound very foreign to anyone north of the Mason-Dixon line. Even as an American, that style of music is not part of the culture of many people and, to be honest, sounds more like noise than music.
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2013, 11:24:47 AM »

It depends. If you're looking for entertainment, you can likely find something pleasing. At least you won't need to worry about moral issues as in a lot of purely secular music. It can be emotional (like any other genre), but I don't find it worshipful - mainly because of that. Content will vary - it may be drivel or it may be quite good. Again, not unlike what you will find in other genres.

Unlike another poster suggests, I'm well north of the Mason-Dixon line - north of even another important line  Smiley - but I rather enjoy the style of music the OP links to. I guess it's one of my secret guilty pleasures.
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2013, 11:38:04 AM »

As soon as I heard that country twang I turned it off... yeesh!
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2013, 11:45:52 AM »

I am under the impression that people are drawn to this kind of music, for a reason that I can't comprehend. I don't know if it's because it sounds entertaining and it makes you put your hands in the air like you just don't care, clap your hands and jump jump jump jump.
When I introduce non-orthodox people to Orthodox chants and hymns, they found them boring and they can't relate to them in any way. They complain they can't understand the words and so on.
I find it strange they can't connect...I learned to listen with my heart, rather than my brain. I'm not trying to find the rhythm so I can start dancing to it. But they do. I was curious why they find this so much better.
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2013, 12:06:10 PM »

I am under the impression that people are drawn to this kind of music, for a reason that I can't comprehend. I don't know if it's because it sounds entertaining and it makes you put your hands in the air like you just don't care, clap your hands and jump jump jump jump.
When I introduce non-orthodox people to Orthodox chants and hymns, they found them boring and they can't relate to them in any way. They complain they can't understand the words and so on.
I find it strange they can't connect...I learned to listen with my heart, rather than my brain. I'm not trying to find the rhythm so I can start dancing to it. But they do. I was curious why they find this so much better.


There are plenty of old hymns that I like, but I do not like the newer contemporary stuff. I have been told that the reason that some Protestant churches use Country and Rock songs is to attract the people of the world. Of course they looked at me funny when I pointed out that we were supposed to be separate from the world; they had this look of, "How do you convert people if you don't meet them on their level?"

I think that it is more of a feel good message that seems to be so popular lately. The music makes you feel good, the sermon makes you feel good, the "altar call" makes you feel good, the  benediction makes you feel absolutely wonderful. Nobody wants to offend you, nobody wants to make you feel like a sinner, nobody wants to make you uncomfortable.

As to Orthodox music being boring... I have never found the hymns of the Church to be boring, though I was quite freaked out the first time I heard Byzantine chanting - I had just returned from Iraq and constantly heard the Muslim stuff. I love how theologically deep our hymns can be. It makes us think!

Conversely, I have known some Protestants who say they found the chanting boring. I think it goes back to the whole feel good message. They don't want to think, they want the pretty man behind the pulpit to tell them that they are ok and everything is good. They don't want to be challenged daily in their faith, they want something easy.

Now, I know this doesn't apply to all Protestants - my mother actually likes the hymns and some other parts of the Orthodox services - but I did notice this attitude was running prevalent in many of the Protestant churches in my areas. This attitude is another one of many reasons I sought something different and ultimately ended up Orthodox.
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2013, 01:47:01 PM »

Very occasionally, there may be a Christian pop or rock song that I enjoy. I do like Anglican chant, Orthodox chant and some RCC and ECC music as well (though no Marty Haugen, please, sorry). It just isn't Christmas Eve unless I get a chance to see a lot of music specials, the good ones that are live from St. Patrick's in NY or St. Paul's in London. Sometimes I also stare at the Yule log. Help.  Cheesy
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2013, 02:15:59 PM »

Protestant music is usually garbage.

EDIT: At least the more modern ones, I also like some of the Anglican ones.

This seems to be it. Contemporary "Christian Music" is a sorry attempt at imitating other popular music styles.

Plus a lot of it strikes me as effeminate.

Not trying to mudsling here, just being completely honest.
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2013, 02:37:45 PM »

I do like some of the contemporary Christian artists but I agree that most of them are garbage. It doesn't have any religious value for me. It's just music.


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I passionately hate that kind of music. I heard it too much as a child and never liked it.
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2013, 02:56:01 PM »

Most of the music that makes it onto Christian charts (a concept that boggles the mind to start with) is a waste of good composing skills. Proselytising in verse didn't work for the Puritans and doesn't work today.

Orthodox hymnography is part of my life, upbringing, background, call it what you will, so I can have trouble distancing myself enough to see it as just music. I love the Greek chanting style, for obvious reasons, although I won't turn down a good Russian all-male choir. Gotta love those earth-shaking basses. Grin

I'm inordinately fond of RC chant. Gregorian is a favourite, but I do feel that the Ambrosian and Mozarabic traditions could do with some more publicity. There are precious few recordings of those, and they are magnificent. EC chant, despite Soeur Marie Keyrouz's best efforts, doesn't sit quite as well with me. Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2013, 03:47:05 PM »

Here's a Finnish song about St. Arseny of Konevets. AFAIK the singer is not an Orthodox but the song isn't anyhow disrespectful. I like it.

Joose Keskitalo - Pyhä Arseni
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TjEYwgDvcg
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2013, 04:36:28 PM »

I grew up singing out of the old blue Psalter used in the CRC and other Reformed denominations still.  I have my late grandfather's . . . something my grandmother bequeathed to me before falling asleep to the Lord.  My grandmother passed on while listening to a recording of Johnny Cash's "My Mother's Hymn book" I made for her years ago. My wife's grandmother passed on to us a great-great aunt's old red Psalter. 

I am really not a big fan of contemporary Christian music.  I think one of the reasons it's played so much in Protestant churches today is because the people who love that sort of music naturally want to play it in church and there is no canon/person holding them back.  Most pastors are probably happy there are committed people willing to lead the singing in church.

This is one sub-section of these forums where people should be more discerning in their diction.  Lead off post using the word "garbage" ? Come on folks.
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2013, 08:38:08 PM »

While the core beliefs of some Rastafari are absolutely not compatible with Christianity (the worship of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I as God incarnate), their tradition (and their reggae music) comes out of protestantism in Jamaica. I find a lot of roots reggae (traditional, socially-conscious reggae) to be very spiritually uplifting, and good music to boot. There's already a dedicated Reggae thread in the Faith forum, but artists like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Max Romeo, Burning Spear, Steel Pulse, the Ethiopians are just a few that I have enjoyed lately.

There's a real sincerity in these musicians. Probably because most of them fought and continue to fight oppression; the best art is often art from adversity.

I've always been a fan of experimental music genres, so when I found out that electronic producer Sun Araw teamed up with the Congos and M. Gedde Gengres to make a psychedelic praise album, my interest was immediately piqued. The end result is... "interesting" to say the least. I don't think many people here will consider this to be music, and many will probably hate it, but I enjoy it.

Also, please do not respond to my post to bash Rastafari or their beliefs. I taught myself a long time ago not to care about the specific beliefs of an artist, only that they pursue God and all that is good in a genuine and honest way.

On a related note, I love love love Marvin Gaye, especially his classic What's Goin' On. Please don't rain on my parade and call me a heretic for listening to someone who was sola scriptura! Tongue

EDIT: Oh, I almost forgot! My name sake, A Love Supreme, is John Coltrane's personal love letter to God.
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« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2013, 10:44:13 PM »

I was curious what everybody thinks about the music they sing in the Protestant churches? Do you like it? Do they send a message? Do you understand the message?  How should an Orthodox listen to all these songs? Do we learn anything from them? Does it uplift you? Does it give you a boost? Does it entertain you? Do you "feel" it?

Take for example this one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h1rBW1731Q

To me, they sound like the American Idol finalists and I just don't get it.
I am mesmerized by the Orthodox hymns that usually take me someplace else where I actually feel this indescribable inner peace.

Since I have no experience with the world of Protestantism, I was wondering if "Christian music" is something Orthodox people appreciate. And if yes, what do you like about it?


I listened to half that song and I don't think they sound like American Idol finalists at all.  I think they were the people who get cut after the first round.  I did not enjoy that song from a musical perspective and I thought it was silly and pointless from a worship perspective.

Here is a contemporary Christian song that I do enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mXeA0G_xKc
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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2013, 11:24:17 PM »

The stuff on K-LOVE is annoying and forgettable, but I have a special place in my heart for the '75 Baptist Hymnal, even if many of the tunes in it were written by sentimental fundamentalists.

Forgettable, but less annoying than most of the stuff on the radio while driving down the Central Valley of California on Bright Monday (I finished my PG Wodehouse audiobook on the way up).
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« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2013, 05:27:46 AM »

Also, please do not respond to my post to bash Rastafari or their beliefs. I taught myself a long time ago not to care about the specific beliefs of an artist, only that they pursue God and all that is good in a genuine and honest way.

On a related note, I love love love Marvin Gaye, especially his classic What's Goin' On. Please don't rain on my parade and call me a heretic for listening to someone who was sola scriptura! Tongue

No bashing. Or I'd risk someone calling me out on my love for Deva Premal, Donna De Lory and Wendy Rule. Wink
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« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2013, 03:44:04 PM »

I grew up singing out of the old blue Psalter used in the CRC and other Reformed denominations still.  
I have a copy of Isaac Watts' psalter, which sets the psalms to the most common meters and  tells you which popular hymns used those meters, letting you know that you can sing a given psalm to the tune of “Faith of Our Fathers” or “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” or whatever. I like it very much, though I've had no reason to get out for several years.
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« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2013, 05:24:42 PM »

As a musician here are my two cents:

I think much of the bad rap (no pun intended) that Christian music gets is not due to the subject matter per se. I think any musician that makes his or her music overtly about any subject, that usually leads to the production of just bad music. The joy that people get out of music is found in its subtleties. For this reason, a lot of Christian (protestant?), modern music comes off as unauthentic and strained.

Also the link you posted above would sound very foreign to anyone north of the Mason-Dixon line. Even as an American, that style of music is not part of the culture of many people and, to be honest, sounds more like noise than music.

I'd say that this is probably true, which is why those Christian artists who - in many cases - started out on Air1 and have been able to move into the mainstream (and wind up being played on Air1 and mainstream stations) tend to have lyrics that can be interpreted in Christian ways, but don't have to be interpreted in such a way.  That's also why D.C. Talk had a couple of songs in the 90's that got regular play on VH1 and MTV (like Between You and Me - which I have oddly never heard on a radio station that plays 90's music): those songs were not overtly Christian songs.
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« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2013, 05:38:08 PM »

I was curious what everybody thinks about the music they sing in the Protestant churches? Do you like it? Do they send a message? Do you understand the message?  How should an Orthodox listen to all these songs? Do we learn anything from them? Does it uplift you? Does it give you a boost? Does it entertain you? Do you "feel" it?

Take for example this one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h1rBW1731Q

To me, they sound like the American Idol finalists and I just don't get it.
I am mesmerized by the Orthodox hymns that usually take me someplace else where I actually feel this indescribable inner peace.

Since I have no experience with the world of Protestantism, I was wondering if "Christian music" is something Orthodox people appreciate. And if yes, what do you like about it?
I love to work out to Switchfoot. David Crowder is great. Flatfoot 56 has a slamin' version of Amazing Grace. Third Day also has some good songs.

Some Anglican chant that I have heard at Pusey House in Oxford is amongst the best of that genre.

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« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2013, 08:52:37 PM »

I love to work out to Switchfoot.
Whatever floats your boat.

Quote
David Crowder is great. Flatfoot 56 has a slamin' version of Amazing Grace. Third Day also has some good songs.

None of these nouns with these adjectives makes a coherent statement. Try again.
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« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2013, 09:32:28 PM »

I don't think they're professing Christians, but Om is one of my favorite experimental/drone metal bands. They're inspired by traditional Eastern music and Eastern (Christian) spirituality. Their album covers have featured icons of angels or saints. Their last one featured St. John the Baptist.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O8eqR-9qMM (as usual, ignore the YouTube comments)

In general though, most "Christian" rock or metal is pretty abysmal, in my snobby opinion.
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« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2013, 04:45:46 AM »

I don't think they're professing Christians, but Om is one of my favorite experimental/drone metal bands. They're inspired by traditional Eastern music and Eastern (Christian) spirituality. Their album covers have featured icons of angels or saints. Their last one featured St. John the Baptist.

Funny, I was listening to those back-to-back yesterday while working on a writing project. Their last two albums, God Is Good and Advaitic Songs, are great. The first three... too much sludge. Undecided
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« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2013, 11:31:30 AM »

I'll take a Choir and a organ or piano anyday over this contemprary or rock stuff.
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« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2013, 12:39:38 PM »

I think groups that arent trying to "be something" do ok. U2 being the perfect example. They werent trying to be the "Christian Eagles" or whatever...

Most Christian Contemporary bands are trying to be a "Christian Metallica" or a "Christian Eminem" and they suck at it.

I personally hate Contemporary Christian music of all stripes. I find it just terrible.It should be used as torture for Muslims the USA captures.

PP
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« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2013, 01:47:23 PM »

It should be used as torture for Muslims the USA captures.

PP

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« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2013, 02:15:38 PM »

I love to work out to Switchfoot.
Whatever floats your boat.

Quote
David Crowder is great. Flatfoot 56 has a slamin' version of Amazing Grace. Third Day also has some good songs.

None of these nouns with these adjectives makes a coherent statement. Try again.


Says you. I don't give a snot whether you like this music or not.

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« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2013, 10:31:51 PM »

I don't think they're professing Christians, but Om is one of my favorite experimental/drone metal bands. They're inspired by traditional Eastern music and Eastern (Christian) spirituality. Their album covers have featured icons of angels or saints. Their last one featured St. John the Baptist.

Funny, I was listening to those back-to-back yesterday while working on a writing project. Their last two albums, God Is Good and Advaitic Songs, are great. The first three... too much sludge. Undecided

Yeah, I like their last two the best. However, I also like Pilgrimage, which I don't think is too sludgy.

But then again, I also like Sleep (the band from which Om formed), who are the kings of doomy sludge.  Cool
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