The Marriage of Music and Spirituality

From gospel soundtracks to prayer, music and spirituality have an interesting and dynamic relationship. Here, we dive deep to find out more.

Music is one of the most interesting subjects in the entire world. Through musical implications, regardless of music preferences, music can be accessible to many individuals as it is the glue that sticks on generations and personalities for all time. 

Through the rapid advancement of technology, music can even be downloaded, ready for an individual at their fingertips. 

From laptops and iPhones, music can be a part of someone’s daily life. Does music have any other valuable meaning?

 

 

What is Religious Music? 

Some music listeners believe that music completely stops its evolution with artists such as Madonna, Lady Gaga, or Maroon 5. However, there are many varying artists from different backgrounds and genres, who share a deep love of music. 

Through spirituality, music has been used to elevate connection with a higher power. In less advanced technological areas, cultures and societies have music integrated into their religious lives through song, chant, and or instrumentation. 

According to WhoSoEver.org, music allows individuals to transform the human condition and lift their spirits from the depths of hopelessness and depression. Music gives individuals a place for peace, joy, and overall optimism. 

As music and spirituality begin to mould together through the eyes of social media, religious music may continue to have a prominent place in music history

Religious music is any type of music that is composed or performed with religious influence. For example, Buddhist chanting is a form of musical verse which can be used for preparing the mind for medication, especially as part of formal practice. 

We have noticed in the past that mainstream pop culture has placed huge importance on yoga, meditation, and mental awareness. 

In addition to chanting, certain Buddhist traditions offer music in honour of the Triple Gem, consisting of music of a traditional nature performed by specialists.

Another world music example is the monumental effortless sounds of Islamic music. Islamic music comes in the form of prayer that happens five times a day. 

Facing Mecca, the sounds of melodic prayer can be heard throughout the streets and towns. 

Through the wide range of religious and spiritual music, many spiritual individuals identify music as a significant stimulant for cultivating religion, as well as being a foundation for reflection.

 

 Spirituals

Music has throughout history been used in a variety of ways. From ceremonies and rituals to celebratory events, spirituality can even form an entire musical genre. 

According to Wikipedia.com, Spirituals is a genre of music that is purely and solely the creation of generations of African Americans which merged Africa’s cultural heritage and its dynamic experience of slavery. From the 17th century until the 1860s. 

While the genre is heavily rooted in biblical stories, the horrific happening of the transatlantic slave trade and the happenings of domestic slave trading is a prominent experience of spirituals. 

Spirituals surround the work songs and plantation songs that later evolved into the blues and gospel songs in church. 

In later years, major recording studios only recorded white musicians performing spirituals, as black musicians were prohibited to record this nature of music. 

After the musically commercial success of Mamie Smith in 1920, African American composers, R. Nathaniel Dett and Harry Burleigh created versions of the spirituals to perform the material for the concert stage. 

This notion was done by applying their western classical education to the spirituals. In today’s society, spirituals have become the signature music of the United States. 

 

Gospel Music

Gospel music can be viewed as a heavy offspring of music and spirituality. With its core musical styling deriving from the same religious undertones as Christian Music. 

However, Gospel music can be performed for many purposes including aesthetic pleasure, entertainment, along ceremonial and religious purposes. Gospel has grown into a sound of its very own. 

From Gospel Rap to variations of gospel folk and gospel alternative, artists such as Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, and Yolanda Adams continue to revolutionise the authentic gospel sounds. 

My first encounter with gospel music was at a young age, through my family’s Baptist church. I can vaguely remember the feeling of singing about the praises of God and what it means to the congregation. 

It was then, where I realised how strong religion can be for an individual and or a group of people. Similar to music, religion brings people together that share a common understanding of peace and upholding a fruitful life. 

In spiritual conclusion, music has no boundary. Music can be used as a key to open all things peace, serenity, and deeper connection for a higher power in a spiritual nature. 

As social media begins to be a diverse group of users, spiritual music maintains its prominent face on various platforms. Music streaming sites such as Apple Music and Spotify, create various spiritual playlists to cater to the well-rounded religious music listener. 


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