Worship music is changing. This is something I've noticed lately and have been paying a lot of attention to. Now, modern day "contemporary worship music" is no longer just an acoustic guitar led song with an accompanying piano and a djembe. Music, not just worship or Christian music, is constantly changing. In the present time being, we are in a really interesting stage in music. It seems we are branching out from the acoustic guitar or piano led material. For example, New Life Worship has a new song out that our Praise Team does called "All To Him". I love this song for many different reasons. The lyrics are simple yet powerful. Also, there is the music aspect.. Here is a Youtube video of the song:
New Life Worship - All To Him : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQKFhx_OHrw
Instead of starting off with a strumming acoustic guitar or piano chords, this song does something else. The electric guitar (yes, I said electric guitar) starts off with a nice distorted sound and playing a fairly simple riff to lead in the piano. The piano actually has a delay on it! Imagine that! The piano riff is also arpeggiated and sounds really nice with the guitar. The second time through the drums come in playing all over the toms. All of this sounds great together. In the verse, there is a really nice spacious sound that is something beyond just keyboard pads. My point is this is something that was never heard in worship music even 5 years ago. You may be thinking, "Where is the simplicity?". That's the great thing, it isn't complicated. Everything works together so well, that you really don't notice everything that's going on, it all just works together.
How did we get here? Well, just like any other music genres, it progresses. The style of worship music that is popular today really kicked off with songs like "Open the Eyes of My Heart", "Shout To the Lord", "I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever" and many others like that. Then, later on, groups like Gateway Worship, came out with their version of "Revelation Song",which introduced distorted electric guitars, huge lead riffs and massive sounds. This is a song that we still do in our church and people LOVE it! The congregation, the singers, musicians; everyone still greatly enjoys that song. Let's face it: the song rocks.
Gateway Worship - Revelation Song : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNbXrnV9wz0
Now, we are at a different point in music. Vertical Church Band recently came out with a song called "God, You Are My God". This song re-introduced the 1980's music sounds with big bass riffs and drum patterns. This also introduced the wide use of the synthesizer that is used in a lot of worship music now. Now, Hillsong has their "White Album" out, which is a collection of club remixes of their most popular songs, played and arranged on not much more than a synthesizer and computer sounds. That one is extremely popular.
Vertical Church Band - God, You Are My God : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJj1TGdpSmY
Hillsong White Album - Like An Avalanche : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-ONvDyooGM
My point is that music constantly changes and will always do so. The song "God, You Are My God" also proves that old sounds come back around and become popular again. It's very unpredictable which makes it really exciting. Where is worship music going in the future? Who knows..? Time will tell.