Worship Blog For Worship Leaders
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Tuesday 13 October 2009

Praise and Worship Music: Christian Worship Music For Praise & Worship Leaders - Where To Find New Worship Songs

Is 'Praise and Worship' music a genre? I'm not sure to be honest. However I know lots of music (songs and artists) that I would classify as 'worship music' or 'praise music' or even 'praise and worship music' even if I would prefer to think that it's not a genre in and of itself. I mean let's face it - lots of songs can be used to praise God and can be sung as worship to Him. In fact, as worship is by no means just about singing or just about music, lots of genres of music can help us focus on God and worship Him in our spirits - even if we're not necessarily singing along.

If I was asked to list some popular people and places that praise and worship music originates from the following springs to mind:

Churches / groups / organisations:

Soul Survivor
Bethel Church (Redding)

Worship Leaders:

Chris Tomlin
Paul Baloche
Tim Hughes
Matt Redman
Lincoln Brewster
Kim Walker
Brenton Brown
Brian Doerksen
Graham Kendrick
Don Moen
Paul Oakley
Darlene Zschech
Kathryn Scott
Michael W. Smith
Jason Upton
Vicky Beeching
Stuart Townend

It's interesting to me that I can think of lots more individual artists than organisations or churches that bring out new praise and worship music regularly. If we rely on finding new worship songs from CDs or MP3s that we buy in christian bookstores then we obviously will find music that has been marketed by the well known record labels such as Integrity and Authentic Media.

There are however lots of other ways to discover quality new praise and worship songs these days. There are social networking sites like Worship The Rock where people post songs for others to listen to for free. There are other sites like RESOUNDworship where you can download MP3s, free sheet music, chord charts and lyrics for a few quality songs from British songwriters. You can also find less well known worship songs on places like iTunes. Indieheaven also has a good number of songs including worship" music.

Long gone are the days that the only way to find new praise and worship songs would be to wonder down to your local christian book shop and have a guess of what tapes or CDs to purchase. You don't even need to buy songs these days to listen to them - you can preview them on iTunes or Amazon, or in some countries listen to the full version of thousands of songs on Spotify. You can go to the 'Songs' page of Worship The Rock and listen to all songs that have been uploaded by worship leaders for free. Or you can browse numerous other sites to find quality praise and worship songs by not-so-well known songwriters.

I think this is great news. There are so many more channels now to find and distribute new material. I do understand that it's much harder for the record labels to continue to make as much money with this new de-centralized model but in many ways it gives new opportunities to talented songwriters and worship leaders to bless others with their songs, even if they're not "signed" by a popular christian record label.

It's easy enough to upload your songs and albums to iTunes and to make them available to the public. I think we'll see more and more independent albums being released by worship leaders that are not as well known and who perhaps have large "underground" followings. Jason Upton is a good example of someone who has rarely appeared on television yet has become popular despite continuing to put God first rather than fame and fortune.

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