Rock Music, Pop Music, Alternative Music, Dance Music

On another thread, someone quoted Cardinal Ratzinger as follows:

Cardinal Ratzinger: “Rock… is the expression of elemental passions, and at rock festivals it assumes a cultic character, a form of worship, in fact, in opposition to Christian worship. People are, so to speak, released from themselves by the experience of being part of a crowd and by the emotional shock of rhythm, noise, and special lighting effects. However, in the ecstasy of having all their defenses torn down, the participants sink, as it were, beneath the elemental force of the universe”.

So. Does that mean rock music is bad or not? I hear such different views. And then I guess there is Christian rock music, but some say it depends on the style and I don’t know what that means. I like some Christian rap though I’m not normally a rap fan. But most really big Christian Contemporary music sounds kind of boring to me – Rebecca St. James, Audio Adrenaline and all. The Call had some good songs long ago but I guess only a few.
Music does affect thinking. I mean, I worked in the rock/pop indistry in a small but consuming way long ago and I don’t have to be informed that shows strip people of their defenses. But so do lots of things, like sleep and a few drinks, right? I listen to some old rock’n’roll, as well as lots of other kinds of music, to do things ranging from relax to reminisce about old good times (mostly pretty tame stuff; sitting with friends and looking at art or walking and joking and playing instuments, hanging out) to stretch to get my mind off my problems or pretend I can sing. It’s deeply comforting in those kinds of ways. A big part of it for me is also exercise. So is that wrong? Is there a difference between say Janis Joplin, Green Day, Peter Tosh, Carl Perkins, and the Dead? How about something like Legendary Pink Dots, or the Talking Heads, or Devo? Obviously if a group I used to like gives me the creeps they’re done, I have no need to be further creeped out in my life, thank you very much. But if it still sounds good then what’s the rule?:confused: Anyone think a little relaxation is wrong? Where do we draw the line around here?

This, I think, is the million dollar question, and one that I’ve never seen answered satisfactorily.

Would you observe the same phenomena at a Phil Collins concert that you would at an Iron Maiden concert? And yet both could be considered “rock”. They both use a vocalist, guitarist, bassist, and drummer (and sometimes keyboardist). On a fundamental level, what is the difference? Speed? Does the rate at which music is played really effect its acceptability? These are the questions I’ve not seen good answers to.

It should be noted that the above quote from Ratzinger is taken from his book “Spirit of the Liturgy.” He’s talking about music in the liturgy and the above statement is more of an aside that he uses to illustrate the contrast between the liturgy and a modern-day secular “liturgy” of a rock concert. I certainly agree with him that rock music does not fit well with the liturgy, but I don’t think that rock music should be boycotted by all Christians (nor do I think that’s necessarily what he is arguing).

If you read the quote carefully, Ratzinger is speaking primarily of rock concerts rather than rock music in general. The only statement that is about rock music in general is the first one (it is “the expression of elemental passions”), which means what, exactly? At most, then, one could use this quote to argue that Ratzinger thinks it’s wrong to attend rock concerts.

It’s wrong to go out to eat as well.

I’m a big fan of alternative and metal which contains rather brusque and controversial lyrics. I don’t like that part particularly. It seems to be, I like music that makes you THINK such as Tool and Mudvayne. Yeah, they’re loud, profane and angry but they ask questions about life…they have songs you actually analyze…which is more than some other types of music do.

Good. Most pop and other manufactured bubble gum-esque music doesn’t make you think – and not ironically this type of music stinks.


I think that he’s pointing out the pure hedonistic nature of rock music.

If you avoid rock music because of this, then you must shut out pop culture in totality.

Is rock music intrinsically opposed to Christianity? No, no, and no.

Is this quote even real? It sounds like a lame quote from Star Wars.

Rock Music Is Entertainment. Nothing More.

Thank you. Gratias. I think alot of alternative music has sadly gone down the drain as well. So much of it talks about depression and suicide. Come on, I liked the fighting apect- The whole life sucks but I’m stronger because of it. I don’t know what to think when something I grew up with just fades like that.

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