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.

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); G. Nierenberg, dir., Say Amen, Somebody (documentary, 1982).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
References in periodicals archive ?
God has met my needs for many years through gospel music. However, I do understand that it could be really frustrating breaking the ground, but if you're truly called, God comes through.
A major absentee from this year's nominee list is arguably Mayoress Molefi who won three awards last year for best traditional gospel, best gospel music DVD and best female gospel artiste and only scored two nominations in the best song writer and best traditional gospel categories for 2019.
It was not until 1930 that gospel music was officially sanctioned by the National Baptist Convention.
Despite its dedication to preserving black gospel music, Inspirational Sounds is made up predominantly of white singers, but it strives for multicultural and multiracial membership, Texley said.
Caption: Jane Katjavivi, Chairperson of the FNB Foundation and Elia Tapalo, a trustee and the chairman of Namibia Gospel Music Trust.
This was the kind of Gospel music that simply makes you want to get up from your seat and dance and the Boys sang with passion and amazing power, demonstrating a deep faith, spirituality and love of life.
The Blind Boys of Alabama sing 'soul gospel music,' which means that we sing from our soul, bringing us closer to God.
Ensembles and individuals that perform gospel music do represent different regions, but they come primarily from North America and sub-Saharan Africa.
This past December, the Smithsonian Institution announced that a significant portion of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project's digital collection will be included in the new museum's Musical Crossroads exhibition, which will present the story of African-American music from the arrival of the first Africans in North America to the present day.
London, May 10 ( ANI ): Music icon Aretha Franklin is set to be inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Known mostly for his gospel music, Moen's concert, called Coming Together For Hope, Peace and Encouragement, is an open invitation to every one irrespective of faith, according to organiser Orbit Events and Marketing.
The Beginner's Guide to the Gospel Music Industry: A Handbook for Aspiring Artists and Industry Executives.

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