A lot of music has been composed to complement religion, and many composers have derived some inspiration from their religions. Many forms of traditional music have been adapted to fit religions' purposes or descended from religious music. Johann Sebastian Bach, considered one of the most important and influential European classical music composers, wrote most of his music for the Lutheran church. Religious music often changes to fit the times; Contemporary Christian music, for example, uses idioms from various secular popular music styles but with religious lyrics. Gospel music has always done this, for example incorporating funk, and continues to do so.
Monotheism and tonality, all tones relating and resolving to a tonic, are often associated, and the textures of European homophony, equated with monotheism, may be contrasted with Asian heterophony, equated with poly or pantheism. Navajo music's cyclic song and song-group forms mirrors the cyclic nature of their deities such as Changing Woman.
Sephardic music, the music of Spanish Jews, was born in medieval Spain, with cancioneros being performed at the royal courts. Since then, it has picked up influences from across Spain, Morocco, Argentina, Turkey, Greece and various popular tunes from Spain and further abroad. There are three types of Sephardic songs — topical and entertainment songs, romance songs and spiritual or ceremonial songs. Lyrics can be in several languages, including Hebrew for religious songs and Ladino.
Nyabinghi music is the most integral form of Rastafarian music. It is played at worship ceremonies called grounations, which including drumming, chanting and dancing along with prayer and smoking of ritual ganja. Nyabinghi probably comes from an East African movement from the 1850s to the 1950s that was led by women who militarily opposed European imperialism. This form of nyabinghi was centered around Muhumusa, a healing woman from Uganda who organized resistance against German colonialists. The British later led efforts against nyabinghi,and classifying it as witchcraft through the Witchcraft Ordinance of 1912. In Jamaica, nyabinghi was appropriated for similar anti-colonial efforts, and is often danced to invoke the power of Jah against an oppressor. The connection between the religion and various kinds of music has become well-known due to the international fame of musicians like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.
The Reinvention of Religious Music.(The Reinvention of Religious Music: Oliver Messiaen's Breakthrough Toward the Beyond)(Brief article)(Book review)
Jun 01, 2009; The Reinvention of Religious Music Sander Van Maas Fordham University Press 2546 Belmont Ave., Bronx, NY 10458 9780823230570,...