Music as a transforming agent in the individual’s life

DOI: 10.32749/
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ROCHA, Luiz Renato Da Silva [1], ROCHA, Rafael Da Silva [2], ROCHA, Luiz Vanderlei [3]

ROCHA, Luiz Renato Da Silva. ROCHA, Rafael Da Silva. ROCHA, Luiz Vanderlei. Music as a transforming agent in the individual’s life. Revista Científica Multidisciplinar Núcleo do Conhecimento. Year 03, Ed. 10, Vol. 01, pp. 05-40 October 2018. ISSN:2448-0959. Acess Link:, DOI: 10.32749/


This work is about music as a transforming agent in the individual’s life, a study that includes a reflection of how Christian and secular music is viewed and the possible contributions of this context to understand more about their differences. And it had as general objective: to analyze the musical formation received in the evangelical churches and as specific objectives: to understand how the evangelical churches, has generated professional musicians for the labor market, to investigate the advantages of music teaching in evangelical churches as well as to analyze the challenges faced by evangelical musicians in their professional performance. The methodology applied was qualitative and developed in two moments: in the first moment documentary analysis and in the second moment, interview through a questionnaire with five evangelical musicians. According to the interviewees and in their reflections, it was allowed to understand the initial formation until the life of a professional musician, we observed that there is a great opening in the music market for these professional musicians called evangelical Christians that has naturally been growing and contributing to supply the bands in general as professional and competent musicians.

Keywords: Evangelical Music, Teaching, Labor Market.


This research was elaborated with the aim of recording, valuing and giving greater visibility to the work with music, bringing to light the theoretical rescue of some issues related to the teaching of music in evangelical churches.

Music is important in the life of the human being, because it plays a fundamental role in the socialization process. It brings us a sense of victory, remembrance, longing, joy, sadness, it’s something that touches us.

For Rosa (1990, p. 19) she identifies music as “an expressive language and songs are vehicles of emotions and feelings, and can cause the individual to recognize in them his own feeling”.

Everyone listens, appreciates, shares, but few know its real importance and what it can contribute to.

According to Brito (2003, p.31)

It is difficult to find someone who does not relate to music[…] : listening, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, at different times and for various reasons. [..]we are surprised by singing that song that seems to have “glue” and that does not come out of our heads and we can not resist at least moving our feet, we react an engaging rhythm[…] .

It is not by chance that music is used in the various fields of human activity. In movies, public announcements, news casts, cartoons, advertisements, electronic programs among others.

The presence of music has always been present in the lives of human beings in all times, cultures, races, tribes and nations. That is, music is universal, it overcomes the barriers of time and space.

In this sense, the general objective of the work was to analyze the extent to which the musical formation received in the evangelical churches can contribute to the formation of the professional musician. The specific objectives were to understand how evangelical churches have generated professional musicians for the labor market, to investigate the advantages of musical teaching of evangelical churches, as well as to analyze the challenges faced by evangelical musicians in their professional performance.

The methodology adopted in this study points to the bibliographical research of authors specialized in the subject, raised through various books, technical journals, scientific articles and research with daily life for the production of data that make up the research.

The importance of this theme, music as a transforming agent in the individual’s life is justified by realizing that in the labor market there are several musicians who work in various areas such as: wind, strings and percussion that had their musical initiation in evangelical churches.

Therefore, the work was distributed in eight chapters, to better explain the path taken to achieve the research objectives, and is constituted as follows:

In the first chapter, there is the introduction, objectives, and methodology of the research.

In the second chapter, the theoretical assumptions that underpinned and served as the foundation for the research, starting with the definition of music its functions and the three basic elements that it can be divided, also in the same chapter, we speak of musical notes, of the teaching of music offered by the evangelical churches.

In the third chapter, contextualizing the gospel movement in Brazil, the Protestant reform and we also talk about the greatest figure of the Protestant reform.

In the fourth chapter, beginning of the choirs and their influence on the bands of the Protestant movement, musical work in the churches of the twentieth century, and at the end of the chapter we talk about a little history of the movements of the songs.

In the fifth chapter, the creation of music schools in evangelical churches as well as formal education, which is one that refers to structuring, organizing and intentional planning in a systematic way.

In the sixth chapter, I explain the methodological design of the research, where we will delimit the research subjects.

In the seventh chapter, results and discussion of the data obtained through the interviews. Next, we will present the production of the data, as well as contextualization of the research environment and its subjects.

And in the eighth chapter, we insert the final considerations, making a parallel between the theory and the practice experienced in the churches, and present the conclusions, bibliographic references and attachments that supported the research throughout its journey.


Music is the succession of sounds and silence organized over time. This has several functions: the artistic function that is considered by many as its main function, but there are others, such as military, educational or therapist (music therapy) and religious.

For Berchem (apud KRZESINSKI and CAMPOS, 2006, p.115) “music is the language that translates into sound form capable of expressing and communicating sensations, feelings and thoughts, through the organization and relationship between sound and silence.

Music can be divided into three basic elements: melody, rhythm, and harmony. The melody is the simple organization of a series of musical sounds, constituting the main element of the music, already the rhythm is what acts depending on the duration of the sound and how long each part of the melody will continue to surface, harmony is the combination of sounds simultaneously, is the pleasant argument of sounds.

According to Brito (2003, p. 26) the song has been interpreted a[…]s ” melody, rhythm, harmony[…], elements that are very present in the musical production among other possibilities of organization of sound material.

However, these sounds are called musical notes, each of which is represented by a letter: C (C), D (D), Mi (E), F (F), Sol (G), A(A) and Si (B).

There are still other symbols of change of the notes: the sharp (#) and the flat (b). Each of these notes has a different height, being severe (lower frequency “thicker”, as the male voice) or acute (higher frequency, thinner, as the female voice). The organization of these heights is called the musical scale.

Music moves, mobilizes, and therefore contributes to transformation and development. And according to Wilhems (apud, GAINZA, 1988, p. 36-37)

Each of the aspects or elements of music corresponds to a specific human aspect, to which it mobilizes intensely: the musical rhythm that induces body movement, the melody stimulates affectivity, order or musical structure (in harmony or musical form) actively contributes to the affirmation or restoration of man’s mental order.

The diverse combination of the elements of melody, rhythm and harmony give rise to what we call musical styles. Among some examples, we can mention rock, pop, rap, funk, techno, samba, country, jazz and blues.


The evangelical churches mostly have their own school of sacred music, which caters not only to their congregations in various age groups, but also to the people of the community of which they are part.

This teaching aims to contribute to the learning of the individual by enabling to play some musical instrument made available by the social work of the church, since basic education schools do not offer effective music education, it limits only the formation of people.

As some have a vocation for music, they end up looking for the music school of the churches that receive them with open hands in order to train future professional musicians.

Thus, the growth in the number of congregants increases more and more since many are focused on the field of music. To develop these musical activities, the churches provide professionals who perform volunteer work such as conductors, pianists or simply students in the field of music.

Churches have sought to keep people musically prepared to lead musical activities. Some began to give this leader of the music area, responsible for conducting and performing ecclesiastical musical activities, the title of “minister of music” or “music director” or “minister of praise”, especially those who, always have been seeking an improvement and interest in training in music education and who lead and manage the musical groups of the church.

Protestantism is one of the three main divisions of Christianity, alongside Roman Catholicism and the Orthodox Church, and has in its formation a history of little more than four centuries. It emerged in the 16th century, with the reformers Martin Luther in Germany, Úlrico Zuíngliona German-speaking Switzerland and John Calvin in Geneva. The Protestant churches, seeking the appreciation of music in their cults, place great emphasis on music education, albeit informally. Its musical influence is so great in musicians who seek a formal school of music that awakened us to investigate the influence of this formation and what challenges found by musicians who studied Protestant sacred music in the face of a broader and more secular musical formation (Veras; Medeiros; Mattos, 2011).

The history of the evangelical movement reveals that through the musical teaching offered by churches that seek to prepare musicians in a practical way, some instrumentalists and singers also participate in the secular musical labor market. Thus, this research seeks to understand and expand the formation of evangelical musicians and thus contribute to other academic research that addresses issues of music teaching in evangelical churches.

With the growth of evangelical communities, spread even in places of difficult access, the possibility of teaching grows. Perhaps, if it were not for the expansion of the respective temples, the music would not reach many places as it has arrived. This fact is so significant that the administrative structures of the respective communities have become an official space for music teaching, in some cases becoming even a higher education course in music.


The gospel word originated from gospel English from the ancient language ‘God-spell’ meaning good tidings, or good news, in Portuguese, “good news,” referring to the Gospels of the Bible that tell us the good news to the world of the birth of Jesus. So, “music gospel” is equal to gospel music, the good news of salvation and translating into Portuguese would be linearly: gospel music (CICERO, 2014).

Who brought this style of praise to Brazil were the Baptist and Presbyterian evangelicals coming from the United States in the 19th century in 1882. They introduced this Gospel genre from the American style itself simply translated into Portuguese their hymnals and the famous Christian harp that is still well accepted by many evangelicals (CICERO, 2014).   The explosion of evangelical music in Brazil occurred mainly in the 1980s and 1990s and to the present day.

This gospel musical genre brings a sublime mission of expressing a religious faith of salvation in Christ. It has a remote history mainly from the beginning of the colonization of the United States, when there was a great approximation of the old Afro musical styles connecting the gospel.

The compositions were called “Black Spirituals” which in Portuguese we could call spiritual songs of black influence. These blacks were slaves from Africa to colonize North America in very difficult and mainly adverse situations of its entire cultural context.

They were firm and authentic in creating a new musical style that transcended the contemporary days. There is a great similarity between blacks who came slaves from Africa to Brazil and kept the basis of their culture even with so much persecution (RAMOS – 2009).

The best known father of gospel music is Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993) a great composer of this musical style of the twentieth century. The music harmonious and diverse in various voices (choir), a soloist, piano, organ, guitar, drums, bass, forming a small musical ensemble.

This genre derived others such as Rock, Blues, Jazz etc. having as the great representative Elvis Presley (1935-1977) and other representatives of this Christian musical style. Early in his life he was a leading blue pianist known as Georgia Tom. As formulated by Dorsey, gospel music combines with Christian praise with the rhythms of jazz and blues.

His conception also deviates from what had been, at this time, the standard hymnal practice, explicitly referring to the self, and the relationship of the self of faith and God, rather than the subsumed individual in the group through belief.

Dorsey, who was born in Villa Rica, Georgia, was the music director of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago from 1932 until the late 1970s. His best-known composition, ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’, was performed by Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972) and was a favorite of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr (ROUTLEDGE, 2002).

According to Cicero (2014), another composer who strongly influenced was George Bernard who was born in the city of Youngstown, Ohio, usa, on February 4, 1873, the son of a father who worked as a miner. As a child, George moved to Iowa state – first to Albia, then to Lucas.

At the age of ten, George converts. Since childhood he had the desire to become a Christian evangelist – something that was difficult, since since he was sixteen years old he was already responsible for his mother and his four sisters, because his father had died a short time before.

It was difficult for him, that even his own education had to take care at the end of his life. He was recognized for his more than three hundred hymns, and died in Reed City at the age of 85 on October 10, 1958. To this day this last city has a museum in his honor.

Cardoso (2011), while researching the evangelical movement, states that around 1912, when George was already living in Michigan, he returned from a series of evangelistic conferences in Michigan and New York. At that moment he begins to go through some difficulties. This causes him to begin to study the cross in the context of God’s plan for salvation.

In this, he reads a text by Paul in Philippians 3:10, talking about his sufferings. After reading the biblical text, he felt the desire to write a hymn on the subject. The anthem was almost ready, but it was not yet finished.

To do so, he went to the church of a friend, Reverend Bostwick, to attend a series of revival services. This was more than enough for him to conclude the hymn, which had been so carefully crafted. On June 7, 1913, he performed the anthem at a conference in Pokagon by a musical group composed of five voices and a guitar (CARDOSO, 2011).


The Protestant Reformation was a religious movement that marked the passage from the medieval to the modern world. Among one of the factors of great relevance that marked this period of transformations we can highlight the new economic context of the period. In the environment of cities, bourgeois merchants were misplaced by the Church. According to the clerics, the practice of usury (borrowing money at interest) undermined God’s sacred control over time.

In addition to the merchants, the feudal economic crisis itself also prompted the population to question the dogmas imposed by the Church. Clerics were much closer to material issues involving political power and land tenure than concerned with the ills suffered by the peasant population. One of the clearest reflections of this situation could be noticed with the relaxation of customs that incited priests, bishops and cardinals not to fulfill their religious vows.

According to Palisca (2007), already in the 12th century, the first movements that questioned the beliefs and practices of Catholicism appeared. Among other manifestations, we can highlight the role played by the Catha dems, originating in the southern region of France. In that region the historical cultural distinctions propitiated the ancestry of a Christian faith apart from the dictates of the Catholic Church. Performing their own reading of the text, the Cathtars had very strict moral values that contrasted with the behavior of clerical leaders.

In the later century, seeing the great presence of the religious movement, Pope Innocent III ordered the realization of a crusade that – between 1209 and 1229 – annihilated the Cathar movement. In addition, the accusations of witchcraft were quite commonplace among individuals considered suspicious or unfaithful. In the Middle Ages, the Church created the Tribunal da Santa Inquisition which covered various regions of Europe, repressing those who threatened their religious and ideological might (GROUT; PALISCA, 2007).


Despite the great gospel influence in the Brazilian evangelical environment in the 21st century, the Protestant Reformation movement began with the Founder of Lutheranism, Martin Luther was the major figure of the Protestant reform. His parents, of peasant origin, aspired to give their son an improved education, making him a lawyer. Luther studied in several cities and joined the University of Erfurt in 1501, where he studied Latin classics, with a bachelor’s degree in arts, logic, rhetoric, physics and philosophy. Two years later, he completed his master’s degree in mathematics, metaphysics and ethics (GROUT; PALISCA, 2007).

In 1505, as he prepared for the study of law, he was shaken by two events: the sudden death of a friend and the fact that he was almost struck by lightning. This, according to some, was the decisive factor for his entry into the Monastery of the Augustinian Hermits in Erfurt on July 17, 1505. Luther excelled in monastic life, being ordained a priest in 1507. In 1508 he went to Wittemberg, where he graduated in theology a year later. From late 1510 to early 1511 he remained in Rome to deal with matters of his order, and there he was shocked by the secularism of the Church and the low moral level of the city.
In 1512, again in Wittenberg, where he would spend the rest of his life, he received the title of doctor of theology. He became a teacher on the Bible, and in 1515 he was a director of studies and district vicar in charge of 11 monasteries.

From that moment on, he dedicated himself to the study of William of Occam, whom he calls “my master”, Duns Scotus and St Augustine, dedicating himself to this last great predilection, especially for having opened his eyes to him against Aristotle’s dominion in theology.

Luther’s thought centered on some points that would become the principles of protestant reform: the universal priesthood of believers, justification by faith, the bible’s exclusive authority in matters of faith, the saving person of Christ. He only admitted two sacraments – baptism and the Eucharist (GROUT; PALISCA, 2007).

According to Luther, God’s sovereignty is exercised over all phases of existence, including the political order, a fact that led him to the concept that the two kingdoms – that of God and that of the world – although with their own and defined spheres, are subject to the sovereign will of God, and both therefore require the loyal submission of believers. He thus denied the submission of the State to the Church. His doctrine would have thus offered the opportune ideology to the nascent German nationalism, delayed in relation to the national unification already processed in Spain, France and the United Kingdom.

Luther’s other thought is about the intimate relationship between profession and work that would have given rise to or at least favored the process of secularization, a fact that would place the reformer at the base of the great renewal movements of our time, paving the way for the Modern Age (GROUT; PALISCA, 2007).

On the other hand, Luther’s insistence on the idea of the purity of doctrine, as the only infallible criterion for the Church, established an increasing obstacle to the development of new conceptions in the ethical field.

The profession, taken as a mission, became absolutizing and alienating. He considered “arrogance” for Christians to change the state and profession in which God had placed him – and this resulted in the maintenance of economic traditionalism.

For the Protestant theologian Ernst Troeltsch (Protestantism and Progress, 1912), there is a need to distinguish between an old Protestantism and a new one. For the so-called old doctrine placed an unrestricted trust in the Bible as the ultimate and definitive source of truth and would lead to the contempt of creative intellectual activity.

In the 14th and 15th centuries some theologians also indicated that the absolute values of the Church no longer had the same strength through the historical transformations experienced. Englishman John Wycliffe (1330–1384) wrote some essays denouncing the church’s corrupt actions and defending spiritual salvation through faith. To some extent, the theories launched by this thinker would influence the works of Martin Luther in the 16th century.

Jan Huss (1370–1415) was a priest who was concerned with translating the biblical text into other languages, because the cults, masses were celebrated in Latin and the people did not understand the biblical and sacred context and denounced the behavior of Catholic clerics.

His preaching throughout Bohemia prompted the violent reaction of the Authorities of the Holy Empire germanic who ordered his death by the fire. Huss’s death gave rise to a popular movement known as Hussism. The vast majority of its members were peasants, poor dissatisfied with their social, economic and human life condition.

The Renaissance movement also took important steps in questioning the role played by the Catholic Church. Francis Bacon’s empiric theory; the heliocentrism advocated by Nicolau Copernicus; and Newtonian physics decentralized the church’s intellectual monopoly. The knowledge generated by these and other individuals launched the idea that man did not need the seal of an institution, mainly religious, which would grant him the right to know God or the world (CHAMPLIN; BENTES, 1994).


The origin of christian coral dates back to the 4th century. Shortly after the Edict of Milan (313 AD) when persecution of Christians was interrupted. Under Constantine, corals were developed and trained to help in the celebration of the Eucharist. The practice was adopted from the Roman custom of initiating imperial ceremonies with solemn music. Special schools were founded and the choir singers were recognized as “second string” clerg[classe]y. The roots of the coral lie in greek pagan dramas and temples.

For Durant (1950, p. 1027)

In the Middle Ages as in ancient Greece, the main dramatic source was in the religious liturgy. The Mass itself was a dramatic spectacle; the sanctuary was a sacred setting; celebrants wore symbolic clothes; the priest and the acolytes promoted dialogues; the antiphonal responses of the priest and choir, and from the choir to the choir, suggested precisely this same dramatic evolution of the dialogue that had generated the sacred work of Dionysus.

With the advent of the choir in the Christian church, music escaped from the hands of the people into the hands of clerical staff composed of trained singers. This change was partly due to the fact that heretical doctrines spread throughout the song of hymns. The clergy felt that if the act of singing hymns was under their control, it would restrict the expansion of heresy. But this was also rooted in the growing power of the clergy as the main actor in Christian drama.

Thus, in 367 AD, the music of the congregation was completely eliminated. Being replaced by trained corals. Thus, therefore, the professional singer was born in the church. The act of singing in Christian worship was now under the control of the clergy and choir.

Ambrose (339-397 AD) created the first post-apostolic hymns. Such hymns were modeled according to Greek ways and called by Greek names. Ambrose also created a collection of liturgical chants, which are still used in some Catholic churches. The liturgical chant is the direct descendant of the Roman pagan chant, which dates back to the ancient cities of Sumaria.

When Gregory the Great became Pope near the end of the 6th century, he reorganized the ScholaCantorum (school of singers) in Rome. (This school was founded by Pope Sylvester who died in 335 AD.). With this school, Gregory established professional singers who would train Christian choirs throughout the Roman Empire. These singers were trained for nine years. They had to memorize every song—including the famous “Gregorian chants.” Gregory eliminated the last vestiges of music by the congregation, believing that singing was the exclusive right of trained singers (DURANT, 1913).

He believed that music was a clerical function. Choirs and singers trained along with the impediment of singing by the congregation reflected the cultural posture of the Greeks. Similar to the oratory (professional dialogue), Greek culture was based on artist/auditorium dynamics. This feature was present in the temples of Diana and the Greek dramas and was transported directly to the churches of the early centuries that still had a Greek influence on their liturgy.

Children’s corals date back to the days of Constantine. Most of them were raised in the orphanages. Children’s choirs remained in the church for hundreds of years after its foundation. The Vienna Singing Boys choir, for example, was founded in Vienna, Austria in 1498. The choir sang exclusively for the court, at mass, in private concerts and state events. A little known fact is that boys’ corals are of pagan origin. The pagans believed that the children’s voices possessed special powers.

In many contemporary churches, whether charismatic or not, the choir has been replaced by the recent phenomenon of the praise group which is a church musical group responsible for chanting and temple worship. The building has few religious symbols of the Roman catholic or orthodox church. On the church front there is a platform, a pulpit, some plants and various sound amplifiers and microphones, as well as musical instruments such as guitar, double bass, piano, keyboard, drums and other percussion instruments. Usually, the clothes of the congregants who direct the music is marked by a more current clothing, different from the musicians who participated in the choirs of the Renaissance church. There are fixed chairs or theater chairs replacing the seats. The lyrics of songs sung and played are usually projected onto the wall or on screen by an overhead projector or video projector and their poetry ranges from more traditional to contemporary lyrics.

Beginning with Dublane in 1962 in Scotland, a group of disgruntled English musicians tried to revitalize traditional Christian chants. Influenced by popular musicians, they produced a new kind of music. This reform set the stage for revolutionary musical changes to take root in the Protestant Christian church.

Thus, the guitar replaced the organ as the main instrument directing worship in the Protestant church. The model of musicians who directed the “new songs”, influenced by rock and popular culture, took the place of choirs present since the Middle Ages in Christian churches (DURANT, 1913).


The twentieth century was a time of various transformations in all areas, so that technological and social factors, for example, were extremely important in the evolution of musical culture (GROUT; PALISCA, 1994). The great truth is that the beginning of the last century was a time of various musical experiences, which influenced too much the directions that the music of the period would take.

It was in the 20th century that trends such as Impressionism, Expressionism, Polytonality, Atonality, Serialism, among others, began to place themselves as opposing forces to the romantic tendencies of the previous century (BENNET, 2007). Jazz influences also played their part, since jazz was beginning with the century and its parents (blues and ragtime) were already known in black American groups. The 20th century experienced a great information boom and this resulted in major changes.

It was also in the 20th century that the first recordings began to take place. The gramophone, predecessor of the vitrola and invented at the end of the 19th century, came to be used, so that those who could no longer, if present in the great concerts, could hear an entire orchestra in their own homes.

The way of playing some instruments changed (as in the case of acoustic bass, used in jazz), new instruments were emerging (such as the drums) and the so-called popular style grew in dissemination, since the media began to act in its diffusion. The radio, for example, launched several singers and singers, which were very successful. This all represented a tremendous change in the history of music as a whole, which includes, of course, ecclesiastical music.

Still in the first half of the twentieth century, the piano was widely used in churches, as well as choirs and vocal groups, so that those hymnals (Christian Singer and Harp), translated into the Portuguese were an integral part of the cults. The Christian singer, first published in 1891 and succeeded by several other new editions, was the first official hymnal of the Baptist churches in Brazil.

The Christian Harp, in turn, was launched in 1922, being the official hymnal of the Assembly of God Church. The Hymnal Psalms and Hymns, originating from the Evangelical Church fluminense, had been launched in 1861 and served as an influence for both.

The musicians who have the most lyrics or translations of the Christian singer, for example, are: Salomão Luiz Gisburg, William Edwin Entzminger, Henry Maxwell Right, Manoel Avelino de Souza and Ricardo Pitrowsky. These men served their generation in such a way that, even today, many of these hymns are still sung and played around the world, especially in more traditional churches in their form of worship (FREITAS; Marcus, 2013).


Charles A. Tindley was the pioneer of the gospel genre. He produced several compositions in the 10’s, but only in the 1920s and 1930s did they achieve popularity.

Another important gospel composer in the 1930s was Hebert W. Brewster (Baptist pastor). Most of his songs were composed exclusively for the choir “Brewster Singers“.

To this end, the songs were interpreted as “secularization” of the religious music genre, the professionalization and sophistication of the gospel created reactions, especially from the more conservative and traditionalist churches.

However, still in the 20th century, in the 1950s, the so-called Electronic Music (BENNET, 2007) emerged in Germany. Microphones (already existed and are even more used) and electronic sound generators are now used in musical making, which transforms the music practiced from there onwards. It is from then on that new instruments are emerging, as well as new ways of playing, singing and composing. There are electric guitars, electronic organs, synthesizers and keyboards today, among several other features that have enabled several changes in sounds.

In the 1960s, Pentecostals broke with the tradition of Protestant hymnology, introduced rhythms and popular styles into the songs, included percussion and wind instruments in the accompaniment, and composed small songs with melodies and simple lyrics to be sung in the cults – something very close to what would later be popularized among evangelicals as the “corinhos”.

However, in the ecclesiastical environment, these changes suffered, at first, some resistance. In Brazil, for example, many churches rejected the use of instruments such as drums and electric guitar, claiming that these are “instruments of the devil”. This is because such instruments were widely used in secular music, which generated such rejection.

It was clear that such people did not try to make the piano, until a few decades earlier, an instrument used in pubs, cabarets, among other places that would never be admired by church leaders. The piano had become extremely popular, in the first sambas and choros, and had ceased to be an instrument only “scholar” and much less would be a sacred “sacred” instrument.

In the United States, the origin of the group called “Worship Praise Team” dates back to the founding of the Calvary Chapel in 1965. Chuck Smith, the founder of the denomination, began a ministry for “hippies and surfers.” Smith invited converted hippies to take their guitars and play their now redeemed music in church. The new musical form began to be called “praise and worship”. As the Jesus Movement grew, Smith founded MaranathaMusic in 1973. The goal was to disseminate the music of these young artists (CCM, 2007).

Under the influence of musician John Wimber was created a chapel called “The Vineyard” in 1977. This new model of more contemporary church followed with the concept of praise team. Another church that influenced the new model of worship was the Anaheim Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Calvary Chapel. The two models of worship exerted great influence on the Christian family with their teams of praise and worship. The music of the Vineyard was considered more intimate and quiet, while that of the Chapel was best known for its hectic and dancing songs.

Influenced by the young musical movement present in the American churches is that in the 70’s, in Brazil, groups such as Rebanhão, Winners for Christ, Ellus and Logos (young groups of the Baptist Church) emerged. Pioneers in the use of various musical instruments used by young people of the Rock, Hippie and Beatles-influenced movement.

The musical groups sought a new technical qualification of the musicians of the congregations scattered throughout Brazil. These young people who led the movement and others who were also appropriating the new musical liturgy faced great opposition for wanting to use electric guitar, drums and electric bass and practice the music of their time, the music of their time, within the churches.

Despite the great opposition coming from the more traditional Christian churches, they did so, being the great responsible for the type of music that today practice the churches mostly. They were the avant-garde musicians in breaking old paradigms, giving us the possibility, like them, to make the music of our time, not being bound by unfounded and historically mistaken traditionalisms. They served their time and generation, leaving great lessons for all of us.

It is true that some denominations still resist the use of such instruments and this style of “worldly” music (so called by these more traditional churches), but the picture is quite changed, isn’t it?

In the 1980s, the producers of the so-called ‘gospel’ song (a term originally created to refer to a specific type of American Christian music, but which has been used to refer to current Christian music), began to invest in singers and musicians, at first evangelicals and later also Catholics, contributing significantly to the growth of the genre’s recording industry.

With the emergence of neo-Pentecostalism, already in the 90s, the first international successes in gospel music, Brazilian that are: Christian rock is gaining space through various musical bands such as: Oficina G3, Catedral, Fruto Sagrado and other styles are also being presented to the public: samba and pagoda, forró, hip hop and many others , at first rejected, become an integral part of the so-called gospel music, which once again greatly influences the music practiced within the churches, since their members, because they admire these renowned artists, are influenced by them and intend to practice the music they practice in their own communities (OMENA, 2011).


Religion is one of the environments that provides and enables education. Inserted in this environment is the practice of musical teaching. Music is not taught only in schools but also, in community centers, associations, clubs, hospitals, shelters, companies, non-school institutions and in churches, which will be the place addressed in this work.

Formal education is one that refers to structuring, organizing and intentional planning in a systematic way. Thus it can be said that where there is teaching (school or not) there is formal education there (Libâneo, 2007).

We can consider that classes in specific rooms of evangelical churches are structured classes, but informally. “(…) the term informal is the most appropriate to indicate the modality of education that results from the “climate” in which individuals live, involving all the environment and sociocultural and political relations that merge into the individual and the group (Libâneo, 2007). Also “Informal musical learning in the Church happens through common use and by the common understanding that is expanded by use” (Kerr, p.5, 2004).

The different educational forms were developed aiming to make teaching more pleasurable and to provide increased interest among students. They are: formal, non-formal and informal education. The elements that differentiate this classification are those related to the organization and structure of the learning process.

Several evangelical churches propose to form their ecclesiastical community and their social community (people belonging to the neighborhood in which the church is installed). It can be seen by the presence of music students present in formal schools of music as an example: we mention the Faculty of Music of the Holy Spirit.

This movement of renewal present in various theologian leaders and musicians since the Middle Ages influenced the musical formation, present in the Protestant Christian church that at first, disconnected from the Catholic Christian church, began to create its own resources of existence and persistence in the history of the church.

He realizes that the presence of evangelical musicians has changed the scenario of the churches that receive back their faithful with a broader formation than the concept of music. Thus, we saw through this research to analyze the musical influence of evangelical churches in the formation of musicians who study in the formal school of music, that is, in the Bachelor’s degree courses of the Faculty of Music of the Holy Spirit – FAMES.


The methodological approach adopted in this research is qualitative in nature, because it emphasizes the interpretation and understanding of the phenomenon, seeking to make a descriptive reading of the object. According to Ludke (1986), qualitative research has the natural environment as its direct source of data and the researcher with his main instrument; the data are predominantly descriptive; the concern with the process is much greater than with the product; the meaning that people give to things and their lives are focuses of special attention by the researcher; and data analysis tends to follow an inductive process. These are the general features. Thus, qualitative research can take several forms, including ethnographic and case study.

The research was done with 5 evangelical students graduated: one is a graduate of the Bachelor’s degree of Fames and the other four graduates at UFES. These were chosen because there is an incentive in the evangelical church in the area of metals or puffs, being this practice more common in this environment and also because they are evangelicals with similar initial formation.

In view of the objectives of this research, the instrument for data collection were open and closed questionnaires of impersonal nature and also interviews with the sampling group.

According to Yin (1990) four different sources of internal information can be used in a case study: documents, statistics, personal interviews and direct observation.

The questionnaires were delivered in person one week in advance for each participant, to ensure the confidentiality of the data and their anonymity. Laville, Laville, New Year’s. Dionne (1999) states that one of the advantages of the questionnaire is that it “facilitates the compilation and comparison of the chosen answers and allows the use of the statistical device when the time of analysis comes”.

The interview is used whenever there is a need to obtain data that cannot be found in the record and documentary sources and cannot be provided by any informant, the intervie[..]w is used when there are no reliable sources of the desired information (CERVO, 2002, p.46 and 47).

This work analyzed the data obtained through open and closed questionnaires by the Qualitative Research methodology where we could understand the musician’s education, knowledge of his performance and musical trajectory. All interviewees began their musical studies in the church and also stimulated by it.

We will analyze the questionnaire containing 11 questions that was applied in a single part. The results obtained by qualitative research guided better the understanding of the interviews.


Five different musicians were interviewed, and the specific area of activity of each one is different. As for qualification, they all obtained a bachelor’s degree in music.

Therefore, to the qualification we have three distinct areas 3 trombones, 1 trumpet and 1 violin. In bachelor’s degree courses in music is customary the use of specific skills, so we even made a point of involving people from various areas, linked to different fields of performance.

For Freitas (2008), the churches are covering the role previously reserved for basic and technical music courses. Even though they are institutions that are not trained for musical formation, we find a significant increase in the number of students who come from the churches entering the Universities.

It is a common point among the musicians interviewed, all began to study music or have contact with some instrument in their own family environment. Interestingly, another common point among them was the direct influence of religion in the study of music, we know that there is great encouragement of religious communities for the improvement of music among their faithful.

“Even so, churches become an environment of exhibition and musical practice, with a regularity that is not usually perceived in other contexts (…)” (Costa, p.15, 2008). “The student who is studying music is a vehicle for spreading growth, because it teaches what little he knows, including in the church” (Bastos, p.18, 2004).

To do so, it takes a general average to understand the ages of my interviewees. The youngest of them began studying at the age of five by paternal influence. The other four interviewees started with: 7, 10, 13 and 15 years. Only one of the musicians started studying a little later than the general average, as it was at the age of 15. It is not so common to start studying music so late, since there is a very great emphasis on evangelical churches for their participants to begin their musical studies as soon as possible. But this does not mean that the same does not have the same skills to play as the other four, because the fact of participating in musical groups or choirs in the evangelical churches, is already a musical initiation.

The Protestant churches, due to the appreciation of music in their cults, emphasize music education, albeit Informally. Many evangelical churches have a music school, which caters not only to their congregations in various age groups, but also to people in the community. (MARTINOFF, 2010, p.68)

As previously reported, I reiterate the normality of encouraging the study of music within religious communities. It emerges in a curious way the fact that all interviewees participate in communities where music is a matter of teaching. Music schools are present in some religious institutions, was the fact presented by the interviewees.

According to Bastos (2004) the presence of evangelicals is very strong in music schools throughout Brazil. Vieira (2004) states through a survey that 100% of the musicians of the Marine Corps Symphonic Band had their musical initiation in some Evangelical Church.

For those who study music, in general, the training is greatly influenced by the place where it is practiced. Moreover, the experience with music is not through the intellect only, on the contrary, it takes opportunities to perform in practice what is studied. Exactly for this reason, it is perceived in all five interviewees when they confirmed and assumed the importance of the religious community in their musical formations.

According to favaro’s research (2007), “the churches that most form musicians are the Assembly of God, the Baptist Church and the Christian Congregation in Brazil”. In the first two, the faithful learn to play from orchestrated gospel hymns to consecrated pieces of sacred music, such as those composed by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Before we think about the separation of secular and Christian terms, we need to clarify that music itself has nothing to do with it, that is, it is an artistic and not necessarily religious expression. But the use of music can be directed to several different goals. This is a theme discussed throughout the history of the church by Calvani that usually brings separations and divisions by distinct opinions. Some people understand music as art, Castro, (2010). Some people understand music as religious entertainment, Cunha, (2007).

There are also those who believe and express themselves as if music could be divided between the sacred and diabolical as Bacchiocchi (2012). This is the case of the conception of some churches and neo-Pentecostal leaders.

The musicians replied that the music is not sacred or profane, but the difference is in the functionality of it. According to Merriam (1964), music is functional and can be divided into several categories.

It was interesting to observe the musicians’ responses, as they demonstrated to have a clear and reasoned definition and perception of the definition and concept of music. One of them was like this: the first interviewee said that good or bad, they follow the same patterns and affinities. What differentiates off the musical side which is rhythm, harmony, style, arrangement, interpretation and conception is the purpose in which it was written. The second person interviewed said that music is an art that brings any kind of sensation (tension, relaxation, suspense, fear, ecstasy, joy, sadness, etc.) to the soul of the human being. The sound of the piano, trombone, drums or any instrument is the same, but the intention of the execution directs to who and why of it. Unlike the church, where everything is geared towards worship, respecting a number of religious customs and principles.

For the music professional, that is, the one who lives and survives music, each area has a reality, including financial. Among the interviewees, there is all kinds of performance, the first of them acts in the popular area, the second works in all areas walking more to the style “Jazz Brasil”, the third and fourth military, the fifth scholar and gospel. In other words, musicians reaffirm the previous response where the sacred and the profane are not spaces for controversy, but for dialogue and different functions.

According to Professor Gloeden (2012), who teaches classical guitar at Emesp (São Paulo), the career of a musician “is more of a vocation than a profession” (…).

In touching on this issue, we need to understand first of all what kind of religious community we will comment on. If we talk about Catholicism, the reality is completely different from Protestantism, because in the latter there is a tradition in having some people who organize the music and that is remunerated.

Therefore, we will speak within the Protestant range, we will have literally hundreds of examples to give, so this question cannot be a closed question. Interestingly, all respondents agree with the remuneration coming from the community.

For a long time some communities had and still have that people who dedicate themselves to ecclesiastical activities should act only by vocation. But this mentality has advanced in some spaces and today there are several musicians who act in religious communities and are paid. It is perceived that institutions are valuing and seeing these musicians as professionals.

Martinoff (2010) states that Protestant churches, due to the appreciation of music in their cults, emphasize music education, albeit informally.

Many evangelical churches have a music school, which caters not only to their congregations in various age groups, but also to people in the community. In this area of the ministerial context it is more than necessary to invest, because it is also to take care of the spiritual health of Christ’s church of those who dedicate themselves to it.

What is observed in the market called gospel is a lot of music students who have led in front of the vocation as a profession. The first respondent said that the job market doesn’t label you unless you want to work only with one or the other specific follow-up.

It was also perceived in the answers of the other interviewees that what matters in practice is not only where the training took place, but also the experience of musicians to work in a given music market. Interestingly the second interviewee said he does not agree, because the market wants musicians to be fast and practical, and generally, church musicians have a very keen musical perception, because they started very early.

According to Marcos Sotter (2012), the professional career in any area always requires a lot of dedication. Music, however, requires, in addition to talent, also persistence. Success, as well as financial return, depends on the courage and determination to move forward. Those who chose music as a profession guarantee: it is possible to live music, whether on stage or teaching.

Music is an art form that basically consists of combining sounds and silence following a pre-organization over time. “Although no scientific criterion allows to establish its development precisely, the history of music is confused with the very history of the development of intelligence and human culture.”

Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), did not understand any separation between aesthetic-musical language in the liturgy and beyond, giving as an example Mozart himself: (…) who used exactly the same language for works of markedly profane tendencies and for works of deeply religious character being successful in both cases and this without modifying its aesthetic canons (…) MESSIAEN (1986).

In the case of this research, all had religious background. If the person has a sufficient technical reading to read any kind of thing, the music is independent whether the repertoire is religious or not. They stated that for their personal vision there is no difference, despite suffering prejudice on the part of some evangelical people.

There is also an extreme example we obtained in one of the answers in the survey: “Evangelical musicians are just separate musicians to play praise and anthem,” said the number 5 interviewee as if there was a difference between the musical notes of the hymns for the notes used in the popular repertoire. This response shows not only this musician, but a community that greatly determines the music that may or may not.

When talking about the market, the subject is particular to each locality, repertoire and musical reality. There are experiences of those who believe in luck and in fact things happen. There are other experiences of those who believe in the continuous preparation of the musician to then be empowered for when the opportunity arises. What is unquestionable among the interviewees is the importance of professional training.

When analyzing the interviewees’ answers, it can be concluded that to mesh in the music market it is necessary technical improvement and opportunity. Interestingly, one of the interviewees mentioned: seeking professional training seriously and never taking it for satisfaction always trying to update itself, because music is an infinite universe.

For Caxito (2010), a number of competences are linked to this subject. Have the correct and clear vision of your long-term goals, plan to achieve these goals, develop a good network, create and invest in your personal brand. It is also very important to learn to speak in public, to build work teams, and to share efforts and results.

In short, the professional needs to rely on a tripod formed by motivation, discipline (to always keep their goals in focus) and flexibility (to adapt to changes and continue pursuing their goals).


Through the studies conducted, it can be concluded that the objectives formulated to solve the proposed problem that guided, music as a transforming agent in the lives of individuals were successfully achieved.

In this research, we sought to deepen our knowledge regarding music, for this, an interview was conducted, with bachelor students graduated from the Faculty of Music of Espírito Santo, in order to know, what would be the difficulties and facilities within the labor market. Also, to find out what they think about secular and Christian music and to build a democratic path in this project.

Historically, the teaching of music in evangelical churches has contributed and provided the formation of musicians who work in orchestras, choirs and bands throughout the country, outside the scope of the churches themselves. Many musicians who work on the urban popular music circuit also had their initial formation in the evangelical churches. A portion of the students who attend conservatories, technical courses, bachelor’s degrees and a degree in music, also had their musical initiation in evangelical churches.

Therefore, evangelical music has peculiarities, is a musical genre produced and composed to express the individual belief of people or a Christian community.

Creation, performance, influence and definition vary according to culture and social context. Being music in the evangelical church mediating meanings, it has aesthetic aspects and its basic function is to enable the manifestation to the sacred and religious worship as an expression of worship to a god in which the community has it as the supreme of creation.

We identified in the research that music has been an important part of worship in most evangelical churches, so countless musicians are trained in this context. Precisely because of this training process, it provides people with the development of musical ability and even the possibility of learning an instrument or singing. This phenomenon involuntarily created a market for musical formation in brazilian evangelical churches.

The questionnaire applied to the interviewees brought us questions and reflections, to the extent that it was allowed to understand their initial musical formation until their life as a professional musician.

As we analyze, we saw that there is a great opening in the music market for these professional musicians called evangelical Christians that has naturally been growing and contributing by supplying the bands of general formal with professional and competent musicians.

Religious and also musical training is considered differential by some professionals who work recruiting musicians for recording, concerts and tours, according to the answers presented.

In the postmodern reality, no one lives exempt from the influences of other cultures. Even those who have a lifestyle based on a philosophy, which challenges some prevailing standards, as is the case of evangelical Christians, it is important to emphasize and realize that people cannot live in isolation, in only ecclesiastical contexts, especially when it comes to music that has various social functions (MERRIAM, 1964).

It is hoped that this research will help clarify issues related to the understanding of secular and Christian music as well as musical professional life whether they are evangelical people or not. Since we need to have an effective and efficient professional musical practice regardless of the context we are inserted to act as musicians.


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[1] Postgraduate in Music Education from the Center for Advanced Postgraduate Studies in Research- Cesap.

[2] Postgraduate in Music Education from the Center for Advanced Postgraduate Studies in Research- Cesap.

[3] Postgraduate in Music Education from the Center for Advanced Postgraduate Studies in Research- Cesap.

Received: January, 2018.

Approved: December, 2018.

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