gospel music

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gospel music,

American religious musical form that owes much of its origin to the Christian conversion of West Africans enslaved in the American South. Gospel music partly evolved from the songs slaves sang on plantations, notably work songs, and from the Protestant hymns they sang in church. However, gospel music did not derive as much from Protestant hymns as did spiritualsspiritual,
a religious folk song of American origin, particularly associated with African-American Protestants of the southern United States. The African-American spiritual, characterized by syncopation, polyrhythmic structure, and the pentatonic scale of five whole tones, is,
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. Gospel music, more emotional and jubilant, also stemmed from the call-and-response singing between preacher and congregation, which became common in black churches. Gospel lyrics often call for obedience to God and avoidance of sin in order to obtain the reward of heaven's kingdom; they also celebrate God's love. Gospel style makes use of choral singing in unison or harmony, often, but not always, led by a lead singer or singers. The songs are performed with fervent enthusiasm, vigor, and spiritual inspiration, with much ornamentation in the solo vocal lines.

In the black culture of the first half of the 20th cent., gospel music was considered antithetical to blues and jazzjazz,
the most significant form of musical expression of African-American culture and arguably the most outstanding contribution the United States has made to the art of music. Origins of Jazz

Jazz developed in the latter part of the 19th cent.
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, despite their similarity of origins, and gospel performers rarely sang in nonreligious settings. Later, as all three forms became popular outside the black community, they were less mutually exclusive. A strong gospel element underlies the "soul" jazz and rock musicrock music,
type of music originating in the United States in the mid-1950s and increasingly popular throughout much of the world. Origins of Rock

Essentially hybrid in origin, rock music includes elements of several black and white American music styles: black
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 of the 1950s and 60s. Composer and pianist Thomas A. DorseyDorsey, Thomas Andrew
, 1899–1993, American gospel musician, b. Villa Rica, Ga. He began his career as a blues pianist and songwriter. Later he became a church choir director in Chicago and was a co-founder of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses.
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, often referred to as "the father of the gospel song," played a major role in the development of gospel music. Important gospel performers have included Mahalia JacksonJackson, Mahalia
, 1911–72, American gospel singer, b. New Orleans. She sang in church choirs during her childhood. Moving (1927) to Chicago, she worked at various menial jobs and sang in churches and at revival meetings, attracting attention for her vigorous, joyful
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, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Alex Bradford, James Cleveland, The Swan Silver Tones, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, The Dixie Hummingbirds, and The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. Pop singers who have been heavily influenced by gospel include Aretha FranklinFranklin, Aretha,
1942–, American singer and pianist, b. Memphis. She began singing in the choir of her father's church. A singer of unique power, the "Queen of Soul" also has an enormous range, from gospel to jazz, rhythm and blues to pop.
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 and Ray CharlesCharles, Ray
(Ray Charles Robinson), 1930–2004, African-American musician and composer, b. Albany, Ga. Blinded at age seven, he was raised in Florida and at 16 began singing in a local hillbilly group. Two years later he moved to Seattle, where he formed his own trio.
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. While the greatest era in gospel is widely considered to be c.1945–1965, the tradition and the music remain vital in contemporary culture. The Gospel Music Association rewards achievements in the genre with the annual Dove Awards.


See T. Heilbut, The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Time (1971); L. Gentry, A History and Encyclopedia of Country and Western and Gospel Music (1961, repr. 1972); H. C. Boyer, How Sweet the Sound: The Golden Age of Gospel (1995).

References in periodicals archive ?
Open up your lungs Join Renfrewshire Community Gospel Choir at this month's open evening that is being held at Paisley's Methodist Halls later this month
Founded by Lorraine Williams, Coventry and Warwickshire (CWGC) Gospel Choir has gained a reputation for inspiring and uplifting the city from supporting national recording artist Sandra Godley to hosting annual gospel concerts from 2007 to 2010.
The '90s classic will be shown on a huge screen whilst a live 35-piece gospel choir and band perform the film's hit songs in St David's Hall.
Birmingham Community Gospel Choir, which was set up in 2005 by its ongoing director Maxine Brooks, has chosen Focus Birmingham as one of its charities to support this year at their annual 'Gospel Goes Charity Concert'.
I'd gone there, on a cold November night, to meet the Birmingham Community Gospel Choir, who had recently won the Songs of Praise 2015 BBC Choir of the year.
They will be joined on Saturday, October 24, by Manchester gospel choir Malachi and youngsters from Huddersfield Youth Gospel Choir.
The Sing Out Gospel Choir is a staple part of Sing Out Music and is made up of professional gospel singers and worship leaders .
Sincere Praise' gospel choir is based at the worldwide mission fellowship church in West Norwood and has toured all over the world.
I have chosen to follow the proven experience of GOSPEL CHOIR over the promise of Brass Ring.
In the New York Mandela tribute concert, the South African award winners Soweto Gospel choir will sing.
The Gospel Choir is a great American tradition, where weekly hundreds of thousands of church goers across the country gather with their fellow community members and sing the praises of the Lord.
LIVERPOOL Harmonic Gospel choir performed a charity concert at Bridge Chapel in Garston.

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