One of the principles I live by is, “Keep it simple, stupid.” I like Pandora because they kept it simple: tailored, streaming radio with minimal upkeep requirement. Creating playlists? I still do it for workout music but that’s about it. Otherwise, the effort that goes into creating playlists really isn’t worth it to me.
Anyway, my music tastes are eclectic, from ragtime to hip hop to electronica to classical. I can think of few major genres that I have zero interest in. Below are two Pandora stations I’ve created for playing while I work. Both have been carefully curated since 2012.
Eclectica – Based on Lindsey Stirling, contains a huge variety of mostly instrumental music, from Irish to electronica.
Folk, Strings, and Things – Based on Mumford and Sons, The Civil Wars, and Of Monsters and Men. A wide variety of folk-sounding music.
Why Do You Listen to So Much “Secular” Music?
First, I divide music into “good” and “bad” (or maybe somewhere inbetween), not “Christian” and “secular”. Call me a Kuyperian, but I don’t agree with the opinion of some Christians that secular music is “the world’s”. Nor do I believe that Christians have a monopoly on good music, even if they do create what is the best music. Indeed, unbelievers are able to create beautiful music because they live in a Christian universe in which God gives good things to all people (Ps. 145). Just as I can enjoy a wine created by an unbeliever, so I can enjoy music created by an unbeliever, as long as I’m discerning. But let’s not kid ourselves: listening to music written by Christians requires just as much discernment as listening to music written by non-Christians. Take, for example, hymns and worship songs that use “surrender” language. The author of that article also wrote an excellent article called Why Does EDM Sound So Liberating? that reinforces my opinion that all good art is, ultimately, reflecting at least some of God’s story of redemption.
Second, I listen to music while I am working because it helps me focus. Since the emphasis of Christian music is usually (and rightfully) on the lyrics, it can become distracting. I also stream my work regularly on Twitch.tv, which means that I’m more inclined to play music that my viewers would enjoy listening to. That being said, my folk station has quite a few songs with good religious lyrics (Johnny Cash, The Civil Wars, Cherryholmes, etc). Abraham Kuyper: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘mine!'”
Artists and Songs That I Like
Favorite hymns: It’s hard to narrow this list down, but at the top I would have to put “Before the Throne of God Above”, “Come Thou Fount”, “Arise my Soul, Arise”, and “Immortal, Invisible”.
More coming soon!