Spirituality and Music

In the 1970’s a lot of Christian churches deemed rock and pop music as un-Christian. They felt people who made that kind of music were devil worshipers. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know that gospel music has had a big influence on popular music. In the 1930’s through the 1950’s, gospel music was as popular as folk and blues music. A lot of gospel music originated from the deep south. African-American communities were known for their great influence on gospel music and on the early development of popular music going into the 1960’s. Aretha Franklin began singing gospel music as a child in her church, which led to the influence of gospel music in her future career. A lot of her lyrics don’t reflect Jesus as a whole, but they do reflect interpretation of the Bible and intuitive connections with God and the human soul. Soul music has been influenced by gospel music.

Not only has gospel music influenced popular music, but rock bands like U2 are very influenced by religion — they use religion and religious elements in their songs. The Book of Job is frequently referenced in songs on the album “Achtung Baby”. U2’s singer, Bono, goes to church sometimes and sits in a pew with his family. He’s a member of the Church of Ireland, which is a branch of the Anglican Communion. I think religion has had an influence on all kinds of music. Religion can make a big impact through music too. We’re now seeing modern Christian artists break through mainstream radio with songs like “For King and Country,” that played at the National Catholic Youth Conference in 2015. Religion and music can and do overlap, and in some ways it’s a really good thing. Music has a lot of power. If you’re trying to get a message out, music can get that message out and rally people behind it.

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