Cool Christian Music?

Edited: July 17, 2017, 10:13 AM · Hey guys,

I'm making a bucket list of pieces I would like to tackle and looking for some Christian / Church pieces that sound cool.

Anyone have anything they want to share?

Replies (19)

July 17, 2017, 10:01 AM · Bach is some of the most Spiritual music composed by "Man"
July 17, 2017, 11:22 AM · My favorite things to play in church are the old-time tunes, with a group (mandolin, guitar, sometimes banjo). Think "O Brother Where Art Thou."
Here are some of my favorites:
1) Deep Settled Peace
2) Green Pastures
3) When I Die (I'll Live Again)
4) Come Thou Fount
5) I'll Fly Away
6) Uncloudy Day
7) Higher Ground
July 17, 2017, 12:17 PM · Hi Christian - You could check some of the music at:
http://www.forestbrookstudios.com/
The music is written mostly for unaccompanied violin.
Paul
July 17, 2017, 3:31 PM · How can you tell if the music is christian?
Many years ago when I was singing in a church the organist wanted to play the March from Prokofievs Love of the three Oranges. The priest was furious and would not allow such profane music in his church. So it was replaced by Prokofievs "Entrance March of the Three Wise Men". The priest was very happy after the concert and never knew that only the title was changed....
July 17, 2017, 6:59 PM · That's perfect Paul, thank you.
July 19, 2017, 9:04 AM · One time a chamber group I was in was invited to play ina Baptist church near our camp. We were working on the second movement of the Franck Quintet...
Edited: July 20, 2017, 8:15 AM · A little more significant than the second movement of Brandenburg 3, perhaps, but in that league (Stupid me was thinking of the slow movement of the SCHUMANN Quintet when I mentioned Psalm 88!).
Edited: July 19, 2017, 3:59 PM · Oh, just 200 Cantatas, Mass in B minor, Magnificat, Passion by John, Matthew, Christmas oratorio, Eastern oratorio... written by some guy JSB.
2 dozen Church sonatas by captain Corelli.
Edited: July 19, 2017, 4:37 PM · Stryper was cool in the 80s, and still is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4HyYB_uJaw

Arrangement for string quartet:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf7vPkF75bU

I guess it doesn't sound too Christian right?

July 19, 2017, 5:58 PM · The Rosary Sonatas by Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber are very cool.
Edited: July 21, 2017, 3:59 AM · If we aren't restricted to the violin, Jimmy and Carol Owens composed some cool Christian music in the 1970s and 80s.
"If with all your hearts ye seek Him" (from Mendelssohn's Elijah")is a lovely aria, and could be easily arranged for stringed instrument and piano (or just read the vocal part straight from the piano score).
Edited: July 20, 2017, 8:54 AM · These days "Christian Music" refers to music that has vernacular Christian lyrics. If your audience does not recognize the lyrics of what you are playing to be Christian lyrics (for example if they are in Latin), then in their mind it will not be Christian music. Purely instrumental music is generally not considered Christian music regardless of its inspiration. The latter becomes important if you play wedding gigs because there are many churches that will not permit the use of any "secular" music in their ceremonies.
July 20, 2017, 11:11 AM · Haydn wrote a pretty amazing string quartet (originally written for chamber orchestra) inspired by the seven last words of Christ. Not solo but pretty amazing. And Christian.
July 21, 2017, 4:02 AM · And I think I heard a choral adaptation many years ago.
July 21, 2017, 9:37 AM · I guess this would all depend on your definition of "cool".

Most of the violin music I've heard in church tends to be slower and more reflective. Not really designed to show off fast chops. More as a way to add reflection into the service.Nice long vibratos. That kind of thing.Amazing grace, Sweet Hour Of Prayer, Come Thou Fount.

I'm usually pushed to find music for offertory, so what I've done numerous times is simply dress up a hymn or a series of hymns on piano.Add minors instead of majors. Intro it with some lively 4ths in a moving pattern. Maybe give it a jazz or gospel feel.This past week I simply did guitar improvisation during offering. Seems to go well in the setting I'm in.

You don't mention if you have help or if this is solo work.You can certainly tackle a lot more if you have a string section, or at least a complimentary piano to play along.

July 22, 2017, 4:46 PM · Katie mentioned the Haydn. That's a great work. The terremoto is not going to make a good offertory though. :)
July 22, 2017, 6:01 PM · "The latter becomes important if you play wedding gigs because there are many churches that will not permit the use of any "secular" music in their ceremonies."
I wasn't aware of this. I wonder if they know that many hymns were written to "secular" music? :)
Since I have no idea what kind of environment CR plays in, it's difficult to make a recommendation.
Some services are very liturgical and rigid, while others are quite the opposite.I see the value in both.
I have been to some churches that have played a U-2 song as one of their songs.
Some churches stay with a strong classical persuasion while some churches have a rock band. I see hymns as a cross over from strong classical to more modern forms.Hymns were at one time the "contemporary" music.

A few artists like Chris Tomlin have a high voice for a man and I find that for a congregation to sing his music music I need to drop the key. One reason why I don't often do his music. The new directive in many churches adopts all contemporary music. I think this is a sad thing. Most christian contemporary music is only a shadow of the music from the past.
Much like the public schools, music in some churches is drying up. Many churches look for volunteers to play. Attendance is low and has been declining over the past several decades.
In the church I attend, I pick old hymns, and more recent revisions of old hymns in addition to a handful of carefully selected contemporary songs.
We are too small to have a large scale classical program. The service has a mixed variety of music.
A few of the contemporary ones might be-
Days Of Elijah
10,000 Reasons
You Never Let Go
Revelation Song
Great Is The Lord

More traditional songs might be-

Victory In Jesus
Here In The Love Of Christ I Stand
It Is Well With My Soul
Agnus Dei
Be Thou My Vision

I recently attended a church where the violinist simply played along with everything in a group with drums and guitar. Seemed to fit.


July 23, 2017, 1:58 PM · "A little more significant than the second movement of Brandenburg 3..."

I love this comment!

Edited: July 26, 2017, 12:39 PM · Darlene Zschech's "My Jesus, My Saviour" (She never sang in cabaret),
Marty Nystrom's "As the deer" (Classically influenced, slightly reminiscent of Samuel Wesley's Gavotte, which in turn is slightly influenced by Bach's Viola Pomposa Gavotte),
Mike Wood's "Jesus is the Saviour Whom I love to know" (in Youth Praise 1. Blues/Boogie style).

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