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.

Bibliography

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 ?
14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Central City Productions has announced that stand-up comedian turned television personality, David Mann , multiple Stellar Award winner, Tamela Mann , and syndicated radio personality Rickey Smiley (Dish Nation), will collaborate to co-host the 30th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards .
A New History of Black Gospel Music, which enabled him to gain tenure at Baylor, Darden wrote a New York Times op-ed in 2005, in which he estimated that as much as 75 percent of the nation's recorded "Golden Age" Black gospel music could be lost if Americans failed to preserve copies of the forgotten vinyl records.
Steve said: "A student came to me and asked - as he thought of me as a fountain of knowledge - if I knew of a book of the history of black gospel music in the UK.
University lecturer and authority on Popular Culture Doctor Curwen Best in his book, Roots to Popular Culture, allocates an entire section to issues surrounding gospel music.
The gospel music heritage exhibition will take place between June 4 and 24 at the Liverpool Lighthouse to trace the story of gospel music from its roots in American slavery to its arrival in the UK and the scene today.
As a child growing up on Air Force bases, Robert Darden recalls first hearing black gospel music in the homes of his black friends.
For an author located in Appalachia to overlook bluegrass in a book about gospel music is surprising.
Goff notes that southern gospel music grew increasingly commercialized in the years immediately following World War II.
Indeed, the nineteenth century ended with a Holinessy inspired revival that affected gospel music (again, how did it affect the sound?
Pianist Dorothy Cage will perform a medley of old-time gospel music.
website] Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia (w/CD accompaniment), by Bil Carpente.
PEOPLE interested in singing gospel music are being encouraged to join in a special celebration of the genre.