Yahweh in the Morning: Clap Your Hands

This week Emmanuel adds a little "percussion" to their music with Clap Your Hands.

Actually, Emmanuel does use some percussion in their music other than that.  But the whole business of percussion in Christian music is one that the "Jesus Music Era" had to tackle, both on its "evangelical" (Calvary Chapel, coffeehouses, etc.) side and on the Roman Catholic side as well.

There were (and still are) a good number of people who believed that percussion had no business in Christian music, that it was simply too carnal.  On the other hand, there were those who, seeing a generation turned on to music that had a steady beat to it, felt that it was necessary to put it in to reach out to people.  In the 1970’s the "leader of the pack" in that regard was Petra, which shocked a good number of people with their hard rock sound.  Between the two were many variations and degrees.

On the Catholic side the aversion to percussion (other than the ubiquitous tambourine) was more uniform, although it’s surprising that one of the earliest productions–Peter Scholtes’ They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love–features a good deal of it (just take a look at the album cover!)  NALR artists were also known to "let their hair down" on occasion.

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