Scholarship on popular Christian music has come a long way in the past ten years. Until the publication of the 2013 edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music, the major reference works in Western music contained no coverage of Christian rock or any of the various interconnected genres of Christian pop music. Entries on “Gospel” in the 2001 New Grove and 1997 Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Music concluded their coverage of popular and vernacular Christian musics in English-speaking North America in the 1950s. In 2019 the landscape shows change. Within the U.S., churches across the spectrum of Christianity appear to be shifting away from services based around choirs and pipe organs, to worship that employs guitars and drum sets.1 Commercial Christian popular music is a globalized repertory, with contemporary worship songs dominating the playlists of Christian radio and streaming services around the world. From the academic side,...
Review Essay: “Seeking and Singing: Exploring Popular Music's Role in Christian Worship Practices”
Anna Nekola is an assistant professor of music at Canadian Mennonite University. Previously she taught at Denison University in the departments of Music and Communication, as well as the Queer Studies Program. Her work appears in Popular Music, The Journal of the Society for American Music, The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, and The Oxford Handbook of Music and World Christianities. She co-edited Congregational Music Making and Community in a Mediated Age (Ashgate, 2015).
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Anna E. Nekola; Review Essay: “Seeking and Singing: Exploring Popular Music's Role in Christian Worship Practices”. Journal of Popular Music Studies 1 December 2019; 31 (4): 161–166. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jpms.2019.31.4.161
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