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,
1942–2018, American singer and pianist, b. Memphis. The daughter of the well-known minister C. L. Franklin, she began singing in the choir of his Detroit Baptist church, where she soon became a soloist.
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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); G. Nierenberg, dir., Say Amen, Somebody (documentary, 1982).

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References in periodicals archive ?
An impressive modern gospel song, 'Welcome the King' is both a powerful illustration of Wale's talents and dedication to his Faith.
However, before and after I pray, or whenever I need to get into praying mood, I listen to gospel songs.I have been told that any music that is not gospel will make me regress, but from experience, the diversity of the music I listen to doesn't in any way affect my faith or my relationship with God.
This stirring song, derived perhaps from the gospel song "I'll Overcome Someday" composed in 1901 by Reverend Charles Albert Tindley (1851-1933), became the anthem of the Civil Rights Movement.
By this point, the Sunday school had expanded to include both adults and children, and the Sunday school song style was in the process of merging with secular song styles to form a new idiom, the "gospel song." This was the period of Johann Strauss, Jr., John Philip Sousa, Stephen Foster, and Gilbert and Sullivan, and the gospel song reflected the influence of the waltz, march, minstrel show tune, sentimental ballad, and operetta.
Costello is still far too anxious to show off his cleverness; he cannot leave it up to us to discover that "How Deep is the Red?" is a secular adaptation of an old gospel song, nor can he resist the temptation to give each song a little subtitle in faux-nineteenth-century salon-song dialect ("Dissatisfied Woman Fears Talking in Her Sleep," "The Terrible Confession of a Life-long Petty Criminal," etc.).
Answers on page 86 Googling a runner Manyriverstocross 2.50 Goodwood A well-known gospel song penned and performed by Jimmy Cliff in 1969.
Inspired by a traditional Gospel song of the same name, originally composed by Charles A.
Among the standouts is the lively "Worthy," an inspiring urban gospel song with a reggae flavor.
PAUL, MINN.: Even Black Nativity, the exuberant gospel song play with deep roots in the African-American experience, has evolved beyond the authorial grasp of Langston Hughes.
As this album's producer, Gordon Lorenz, writes in the sleeve notes accompanying the double CD, the mid 19th century onwards was the golden era of American gospel song although earlier decades had also produced classic gospel music.
Bob Dylan wrote a gospel song called "Gotta Serve Somebody." Paul knows that life comes when that somebody is Christ alone and above all.
He later recognized the same sounds in the rhythms of the soul music and the ultra-contemporary gospel song "Oh Happy Day" by Edwin Hawkins that he learned as a young drummer.