Christian Music Downloads

Written by Scott Martin
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The Christian music world has long been thought of as more traditional than edgy. With roots dating back thousands of years, Christian music has evolved and splintered into many styles, tempos, and themes. Throughout the ages, spiritual and Christian music have transformed with the times, remaining true to the scriptures, while reaching a wider audience. Contemporary Christian music not only has progressed musically since these early times, but also has become deliverable in many different formats, including the Christian music downloads of today.

Christian Music in Digital Format

Condensed History of Christian Music

One of the earliest types of Judeo-Christian music occurred when King David appointed musicians in the temple. These musicians were funded by the monarchy and were trained in the art of joyful song. Many of the Psalms of the Old Testament were birthed from this tradition. When the Early Church of Christ's time focused less on ritual, song became somewhat more spontaneous, coming from the average believer.

Gregorian chanting in the Dark Ages gave way to congregational singing under the inspiration of Martin Luther. Luther himself would not ordain a minister unless that person was also trained in music. Following Luther historically, Reformers such as Calvin and Zwingli also emphasized worship music. In 1550, Isaac Watts, considered the father of English hymns, wrote many Christian songs that are still sung today.

Charles Wesley likewise authored and translated a grand total of about 65,000 songs, adding them to the congregational cannon. Spirituals were created and sung by oppressed slaves during the 19th century in the southern states of the U.S., birthing not only a powerful gospel tradition, but also giving way to development of other genres, such as blues and jazz. Evangelistic songs then followed during the mid 19th century, many of them authored by Ira Sankey.

Changes in Christian Music

In the mid-1900s, Christian music began to diversify even more. The introduction of "Praise & Worship" music began in the 1960s, with more contemporary, scripture-based songs coming forth. These songs generally were backed by piano, guitar, and sometimes a full orchestra, and contained lyrics that were more heartfelt than formal. These praise and worship songs included songs of encouragement, thankfulness, and reflection on the daily Christian life. By the mid-'70s, "contemporary Christian music" was born, with solo artists and bands forming, and gaining recognition. Many of these artists were particularly popular with youth.

With these changes came the added popularity of Christian music, through the publicity of the Grammys and Dove Awards. The Grammys, since 1961, have held a gospel music category, and the Dove Awards originated in 1969 by the Gospel Music Association (GMA).

Delivery of Christian Music

Over the course of these changes, the formatting that Christian music used for distribution changed with the times, as well. The vinyl record gave way to the 8-track, which then gave way to the cassette tape. This medium was virtually replaced by the Compact Disc (CD), for portable music with more capacity for storage. Now, Christian music is available in digitalized format.

This means that no matter what your brand of denomination or faith, there is bound to be a quick and easy way to transfer your music. You can download directly at most sites, using your computer and internet connection. You can then burn this music to a CD, transfer to an iPod, or use in any other MP3 player on the market. Best of all, most sites allow you to sample songs before buying. So, if you want to ensure that a particular new artist is aligned with your beliefs and musical tastes, you can find out right away, before purchasing. Many sites also allow you to download one Christian song at a time (if you choose), making for lower cost and better variety.


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