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).

References in periodicals archive ?
WITH the same spirit and enthusiasm exhibited by legends like Mahalia and the venerable Thomas Dorsey, today-'s new young gospel music performers--including Smokie Norful, Tonex and Israel Houghton & New Breed--are still singing the good news of praise begun by the gospel pioneers.
It also provides textbooks that are required for the 115 classes and workshops offered throughout the week on subjects as diverse as how to play the tambourine and gospel drums, to studying the life of Christ, the business of gospel music, and from copyright laws to marketing and promoting records and artists.
If most business ideas started on a "wing and a prayer," gospel music was no exception.
With the latest honor of Christian Voice Magazine 2017 Gospel Music Fan Award for Favorite Country Gospel Group, the Waymasters continue to make their mark in the Christian Country Gospel genre as the leading band and one of the country's favorite gospel artists.
In fact, Gainer and the choir of the Portland-Vancouver Gospel Music Worship of America will be among many special guests and performers in the show, which is titled "An African American Music Heritage Showcase.
Darden notes that the inclusion of preserved music in the national museum represents a milestone achievement for what is believed to be the largest archive, including digital copies and vinyl records, of African-American gospel music produced from the 1940s through the 1970s.
His career, as a bio-medical scientist, took him away from the town and it was while working at Canterbury University that he stumbled upon the idea of writing a book on the history of British black gospel music, which has just been published.
Coates' book to be most helpful in understanding the practices, concerns, and motivating factors found within the Gospel music industry.
Black gospel music is known for its contagious enthusiasm, and now, with Gospel Superfest TV in its tenth year, Spirit Rising and Dr.
It is clear however that not many people have actually written extensively on the subject of contemporary gospel music and this will be dealt with more in-depth in my section on Limitations.
FOR TEACHERS of SINGING effectively to train and nurture the gospel music singer, teachers not only must understand voice production as it relates generally to Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) pedagogy and repertoire, but they also must understand specifically gospel music and its associated styles.
The 38-year-old Sweet now lives in West Hollywood, where he works as a personal trainer, but his passion for gospel music is as strong as it was when he lived in that incestuous heartland.