Gospel music
Overview
 
Gospel music is music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 that is written to express either personal, spiritual or a communal belief regarding Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 life, as well as (in terms of the varying music styles) to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music.

Like other forms of Christian music
Christian music
Christian music is music that has been written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life and faith. Common themes of Christian music include praise, worship, penitence, and lament, and its forms vary widely across the world....

, the creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of gospel music varies according to culture and social context.
Encyclopedia
Gospel music is music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 that is written to express either personal, spiritual or a communal belief regarding Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 life, as well as (in terms of the varying music styles) to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music.

Like other forms of Christian music
Christian music
Christian music is music that has been written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life and faith. Common themes of Christian music include praise, worship, penitence, and lament, and its forms vary widely across the world....

, the creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of gospel music varies according to culture and social context. Gospel music is composed and performed for many purposes, including aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, and as an entertainment product for the marketplace. However, a theme of gospel music is praise, worship or thanks to God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

, Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

, or the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, but understood differently in the main Abrahamic religions.While the general concept of a "Spirit" that permeates the cosmos has been used in various religions Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of...

.

Style

Gospel music in general is characterized by dominant vocals (often with strong use of harmony) referencing lyrics of a religious nature, particularly Christian. Subgenres include contemporary gospel, urban contemporary gospel
Urban contemporary gospel
Traditional black gospel is music that is written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music...

 (sometimes referred to as "black gospel"), Southern gospel
Southern Gospel
Southern Gospel music—at one time also known as "quartet music"—is music whose lyrics are written to express either personal or a communal faith regarding biblical teachings and Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music...

, and modern gospel music (now more commonly known as praise and worship music or contemporary Christian music
Contemporary Christian music
Contemporary Christian music is a genre of modern popular music which is lyrically focused on matters concerned with the Christian faith...

). Several forms of gospel music utilize choirs, use piano and/or Hammond organ, drums, bass guitar and, increasingly, electric guitar. In comparison with hymns, which are generally of a statelier measure, the gospel song is expected to have a refrain and often a more syncopated rhythm.

Many attempts have been made to describe the style of late 19th and early 20th century gospel songs in general. Christ-Janer, et al. said "the music was tuneful and easy to grasp . . . rudimentary harmonies . . . use of the chorus . . . varied metric schemes . . . motor rhythms were characteristic. . . . The device of letting the lower parts echo rhythmically a motive announced by the sopranos became a mannerism . . ." Patrick and Sydnor emphasize the notion that gospel music is "sentimental", quoting Sankey
Ira D. Sankey
Ira D. Sankey , known as The Sweet Singer of Methodism, was an American gospel singer and composer, associated with evangelist Dwight L...

 as saying, "Before I sing I must feel", and they call attention to the comparison of the original version of Rowley’s "I Will Sing the Wondrous Story" with Sankey's version. Gold said, "Essentially the gospel songs are songs of testimony, persuasion, religious exhortation, or warning. Usually the chorus or refrain technique is found."

History

One can pursue the roots of gospel music through the academic discipline of ethno-musicology
Musicology
Musicology is the scholarly study of music. The word is used in narrow, broad and intermediate senses. In the narrow sense, musicology is confined to the music history of Western culture...

 (going back to Europe and Africa), through a study of the 2,000-year history of church music
Church music
Church music may be defined as music written for performance in church, or any musical setting of ecclestiacal liturgy, or music set to words expressing propositions of a sacred nature, such as a hymn. This article covers music in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. For sacred music outside this...

, and through a study of rural folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 traditions, but for practical purposes, gospel music as we know it can be traced to the 18th century. Coming out of an oral tradition, gospel music typically utilizes a great deal of repetition
Call and response
Call and response is a form of "spontaneous verbal and non-verbal interaction between speaker and listener in which all of the statements are punctuated by expressions from the listener."...

. This is a carryover from the time when many post-Reconstruction blacks were unable to read. The repetition of the words allowed those who could not read the opportunity to participate in worship. During the time, hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s were lined and repeated in a call and response fashion and the Negro spirituals and work song
Work song
A work song is a piece of music closely connected to a specific form of work, either sung while conducting a task or a song linked to a task or trade which might be a connected narrative, description, or protest song....

s emerged. Due to the enslaved Africans attended their masters’ worship services, the seventeenth-century influences on Negro spirituals and work songs were traditional hymns the enslaved Africans heard in worship services
Church service
In Christianity, a church service is a term used to describe a formalized period of communal worship, often but not exclusively occurring on Sunday, or Saturday in the case of those churches practicing seventh-day Sabbatarianism. The church service is the gathering together of Christians to be...

. Worship services served several purposes; not only were they a means by which the Africans could be monitored, but they also served as a reinforcement of the slavery indoctrination. Quite often readings were from St. Paul, and outlined being good servants and loving, obeying, and trusting one’s master. At this time it was also illegal for more than a handful of blacks to congregate without supervision. This meant that the blacks were not free to worship on their own they had to attend worship services with their master. At these services they would grow closer in their understanding of Christian doctrine
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and role that music played in that experience. The worship music (hymns) of the whites became the backdrop for the music that the enslaved Africans would use at their eventual worship meetings.

Most of the churches did not have musical instruments to use. There would be guitars and tambourines available every now and then, but not frequently. There were not regular church choirs that existed at this time, and they did not use a piano very often. Most of the singing was done a cappella
A cappella
A cappella music is specifically solo or group singing without instrumental sound, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It is the opposite of cantata, which is accompanied singing. A cappella was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato...

. It continues to be a cappella in some fellowships such as the Churches of Christ.

Gospel also lends some of its more modern roots to the mass revival movement (starting with Dwight L. Moody
Dwight L. Moody
Dwight Lyman Moody , also known as D.L. Moody, was an American evangelist and publisher who founded the Moody Church, Northfield School and Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts , the Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishers.-Early life:Dwight Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts to a large...

, whose musician was Ira D. Sankey
Ira D. Sankey
Ira D. Sankey , known as The Sweet Singer of Methodism, was an American gospel singer and composer, associated with evangelist Dwight L...

) and the Holiness
Holiness movement
The holiness movement refers to a set of beliefs and practices emerging from the Methodist Christian church in the mid 19th century. The movement is distinguished by its emphasis on John Wesley's doctrine of "Christian perfection" - the belief that it is possible to live free of voluntary sin - and...

-Pentecostal
Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism is a diverse and complex movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, has an eschatological focus, and is an experiential religion. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek...

 movement. Prior to the meeting of Moody and Sankey in 1870, there was an American rural/frontier history of revival
Revival meeting
A revival meeting is a series of Christian religious services held in order to inspire active members of a church body, to raise funds and to gain new converts...

 and camp meeting
Camp meeting
The camp meeting is a form of Protestant Christian religious service originating in Britain and once common in some parts of the United States, wherein people would travel from a large area to a particular site to camp out, listen to itinerant preachers, and pray...

 songs, but the gospel hymn was of a different character, and it served the needs of mass revivals in the great cities.

The revival movement employed popular singers and song leaders (starting with Ira Sankey) who used songs by writers such as George F. Root
George Frederick Root
George Frederick Root was an American songwriter, who found particular fame during the American Civil War.-Biography:...

, P. P. Bliss
Philip Bliss
Philip Paul Bliss was an American composer, conductor, bass-baritone writer of hymns and a Gospel singer. He wrote many well-known hymns, including Almost Persuaded, Hallelujah, What a Saviour!, Let the Lower Lights Be Burning, Wonderful Words of Life, and the tune for Horatio Spafford's It Is...

, Charles H. Gabriel
Charles H. Gabriel
Charles Hutchinson Gabriel was a writer of gospel songs and composer of gospel tunes. He is said to have written and/or composed between 7,000 and 8,000 songs, many of which are available in 21st century hymnals. He used several pseudonyms, including Charlotte G. Homer, H. A. Henry, and S. B...

, William Howard Doane
William Howard Doane
William Howard Doane was an industrialist who composed Christian hymn tunes. He held patents on wood-working machinery and in 1861 became President of J. A. Fay and Company. In religious work he headed the Ohio Baptist Convention Ministers Aid Society for the Midwest...

, and Fanny Crosby
Fanny Crosby
Frances Jane Crosby , usually known as Fanny Crosby in the United States and by her married name, Frances van Alstyne, in the United Kingdom, was an American Methodist rescue mission worker, poet, lyricist, and composer. During her lifetime, she was well-known throughout the United States...

. The first published use of the term “gospel” to describe this kind of music was apparently in the 1870s. In 1874, P. P. Bliss edited a collection titled Gospel Songs, and in 1875 P. P. Bliss and Ira Sankey issued Gospel Hymns, no’s. 1 to 6, an extension of the 1874 Gospel Songs. Sankey and Bliss’s collection can be found in many libraries today.

The popularity of revival singers and the openness of rural churches to this type of music (in spite of its initial use in city revivals) led to the late 19th and early 20th century establishment of gospel music publishing houses such as those of Homer Rodeheaver
Homer Rodeheaver
Homer Alvan Rodeheaver was an American evangelist, music director, music publisher, composer of gospel songs, and pioneer in the recording of sacred music.- Early career :...

, E. O. Excell
E. O. Excell
Edwin Othello Excell , commonly known as E. O. Excell, was a prominent American publisher, composer, song leader, and singer of music for church, Sunday school, and evangelistic meetings during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Some of the significant collaborators in his vocal...

, Charlie Tillman
Charles Davis Tillman
Charles Davis Tillman —also known as Charlie D. Tillman, Charles Tillman, Charlie Tillman, and C. D. Tillman—was a popularizer of the gospel song...

, and Charles Tindley. These publishers were in the market for large quantities of new music, providing an outlet for the creative work of many songwriters and composers

The holiness-Pentecostal movement, or sanctified movement, appealed to people who were not attuned to sophisticated church music, and holiness worship has used any type of instrumentation that congregation members might bring in, from tambourine
Tambourine
The tambourine or marine is a musical instrument of the percussion family consisting of a frame, often of wood or plastic, with pairs of small metal jingles, called "zils". Classically the term tambourine denotes an instrument with a drumhead, though some variants may not have a head at all....

s to electric guitar
Electric guitar
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction to convert vibrations of its metal strings into electric audio signals. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker...

s. Pentecostal churches readily adopted and contributed to the gospel music publications of the early 20th century. Late 20th century musicians such as Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

, Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis is an American rock and roll and country music singer-songwriter and pianist. An early pioneer of rock and roll music, Lewis's career faltered after he married his young cousin, and he afterwards made a career extension to country and western music. He is known by the nickname 'The...

, Mahalia Jackson
Mahalia Jackson
Mahalia Jackson – January 27, 1972) was an African-American gospel singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice, she was referred to as "The Queen of Gospel"...

, Andrae Crouch
Andrae Crouch
Andraé Crouch is a seven-time Grammy Award-winning American gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, recording artist, record producer, and pastor.-Early years:Born Andraé Edward Crouch in San Francisco, California....

, and the Blackwood Brothers
The Blackwood Brothers
The Blackwood Brothers Quartet are an eight-time Grammy award-winning American Southern Gospel group. They have been around for 76 years, and were pioneers in the Christian music industry.-Musical career:...

 either were raised in a Pentecostal environment, or have acknowledged the influence of that tradition.

The advent of radio in the 1920s greatly increased the audience for gospel music, and James D. Vaughan
James David Vaughan
James David Vaughan was a music teacher, composer, song book publisher, the founder of the Vaughan Conservatory of Music and the James D. Vaughan Publishing Company.-Biography:...

 used radio as an integral part of his business model, which also included traveling quartets to publicize the gospel music books he published several times a year. Virgil O. Stamps
Virgil Oliver Stamps
Virgil Oliver Stamps was a shape note promoter, singer, composer, and singing school teacher.V. O. Stamps was born in and raised in the Stamps Community in Upshur County, Texas, and was a key individual in early gospel music publishing. As a youth, he worked with his father in a sawmill, and used...

 and Jesse R. Baxter studied Vaughan’s business model and by the late 1920s were running a heavy competition for Vaughan. The 1920s also saw the marketing of gospel records by groups such as the Carter Family.

The first person to introduce the ragtime influence to gospel accompaniment as well as to play the piano on a gospel recording was Ms. Arizona Dranes
Arizona Dranes
Arizona Dranes was one of the first gospel artists to bring the musical styles of Holiness churches' religious music to the public in her records for Okeh and performances in the 1920s. She introduced piano accompaniment to Holiness music, which had previously been largely a cappella, and...

.

In African-American music, gospel quartets developed an a cappella
A cappella
A cappella music is specifically solo or group singing without instrumental sound, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It is the opposite of cantata, which is accompanied singing. A cappella was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato...

 style following the earlier success of the Fisk Jubilee Singers
Fisk Jubilee Singers
The Fisk Jubilee Singers are an African-American a cappella ensemble, consisting of students at Fisk University. The first group was organized in 1871 to tour and raise funds for their college. Their early repertoire consisted mostly of traditional spirituals, but included some Stephen Foster songs...

. The 1930s saw the Fairfield Four
The Fairfield Four
The Fairfield Four is a gospel group that has existed for over 80 years. They started as a trio in Nashville, Tennessee's Fairfield Baptist Church in 1921. They were designated as National Heritage Fellows in 1989 by the National Endowment for the Arts. The group won the 1998 Grammy for Best...

, the Dixie Hummingbirds
The Dixie Hummingbirds
The Dixie Hummingbirds are an influential American gospel music group, spanning more than 80 years from the jubilee quartet style of the 1920s, through the "hard gospel" quartet style of Gospel's golden age in the 1940s and 1950s, to the eclectic pop-tinged songs of today.-History:Formed in 1928 in...

, the Five Blind Boys, the Swan Silvertones
Swan Silvertones
The Swan Silvertones were an American gospel music group that achieved popularity in the 1940s and 1950s while led by Claude Jeter. Jeter formed the group in 1938 as the "Four Harmony Kings" while he was working as a coal miner in West Virginia...

, the Charioteers, and the Golden Gate Quartet. Racism
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

 divided the nation, and these groups were best known in the African-American community, but some in the white community began to follow them. In addition to these high profile quartets, there were many black gospel musicians performing in the 1920s and 30s.

In the 1930s, in Chicago, Thomas A. Dorsey
Thomas A. Dorsey
Thomas Andrew Dorsey was known as "the father of black gospel music" and was at one time so closely associated with the field that songs written in the new style were sometimes known as "dorseys." Earlier in his life he was a leading blues pianist known as Georgia Tom.As formulated by Dorsey,...

 (best known as author of the song, "Precious Lord, Take My Hand
Take My Hand, Precious Lord
"Take My Hand, Precious Lord" is a gospel song, lyrics by Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey , melody by George Nelson Allen .-History:...

"), who had spent the 1920s writing secular music, turned full time to gospel music, established a publishing house, and invented the black gospel style of piano music. He had many trials in his life that he overcame concerning his health and his wife died. He dedicated all of his musical talent to the service of the LORD. Thomas gained knowledge of his religion from his father who was a Baptist minister and took up on piano from his mother who was his teacher. He started working with lack blues pianist when they moved to Atlanta. It has been said that 1930 was the year when modern gospel music began, because the National Baptist Convention first publicly endorsed the music at its 1930 meeting. Dorsey was responsible for developing the musical careers of many African-American artists, such as Mahalia Jackson.

Meanwhile, the radio continued to develop an audience for gospel music, a fact that was commemorated in Albert E. Brumley
Albert E. Brumley
Albert Edward Brumley was a shape note gospel music composer and publisher.Brumley was born near Spiro, Oklahoma on October 29, 1905. Pre-Dustbowl Oklahoma was primarily made up of sparse agricultural communities; Brumley's family was no different. He spent much of his early life chopping and...

's 1937 song, "Turn Your Radio On" (which is still being published in gospel song books). In 1972, a recording of "Turn Your Radio On" by the Lewis Family was nominated for "Gospel Song of the Year
Dove Awards of 1972
-Award recipients:*Song of the Year**"The Lighthouse"; Ron Hinson; Journey Music *Songwriter of the Year**Bill Gaither*Male Vocalist of the Year**James Blackwood*Female Vocalist of the Year**Sue Chenault*Male Group of the Year**Oak Ridge Boys...

" in the Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards.

Following the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, gospel music moved into major auditoriums, and gospel music concerts became quite elaborate. In 1950, black gospel was featured at Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States, located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east stretch of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park....

 when Joe Bostic produced the Negro Gospel and Religious Music Festival. He repeated it the next year with an expanded list of performing artists, and in 1959 moved to Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG and known colloquially as The Garden, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the New York City borough of Manhattan and located at 8th Avenue, between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station.Opened on February 11, 1968, it is the...

. Today, black gospel and white gospel are distinct genres, with distinct audiences. In white gospel, there is a large Gospel Music Association
Gospel Music Association
The Gospel Music Association was founded in 1964 for the purpose of supporting and promoting the development of all forms of Gospel music. There are currently about 4,000 members worldwide...

 and a Gospel Music Hall of Fame, which includes a few black artists, such as Mahalia Jackson, but which ignores most black artists. In the black community, James Cleveland
James Cleveland
The Reverend Dr. James Cleveland was a gospel singer, arranger, composer and, most significantly, the driving force behind the creation of the modern gospel sound, bringing the stylistic daring of hard gospel and jazz and pop music influences to arrangements for mass choirs...

 established the Gospel Music Workshop of America
Gospel Music Workshop of America
Gospel Music Workshop of America is an international music convention founded by Rev. James Cleveland along with Albertina Walker in 1967.-GMWA membership:...

 in 1969.

Urban contemporary gospel

Urban contemporary gospel
Urban contemporary gospel
Traditional black gospel is music that is written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music...

 (sometimes still marketed as "Black gospel" to help distinguish it from other forms of Christian music) is a subgenre of contemporary gospel music.

Gospel blues

Gospel blues
Gospel blues
Gospel blues is a form of blues-based gospel music that has been around since the inception of blues music, a combination of blues guitar and evangelistic lyrics...

 is a blues-based form of gospel music (a combination of blues guitar and evangelistic lyrics).

Southern gospel

Southern gospel
Southern Gospel
Southern Gospel music—at one time also known as "quartet music"—is music whose lyrics are written to express either personal or a communal faith regarding biblical teachings and Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music...

, is sometimes called "quartet music" by fans due to the original all male, tenor-lead-baritone-bass quartet make-up. This type of music deals with the everyday problems of life and how God answers those problems. Southern gospel depends on strong harmonies, often with extremely wide ranges (i.e. extremely low bass, falsetto tenor.) Flavors in Southern gospel range from ultra-traditional early quartet music (i.e. the Statesmen Quartet, circa 1940-50) to very cutting edge sounds (i.e. current Signature Sound quartet discography).

Progressive Southern gospel

Progressive Southern gospel
Progressive Southern Gospel
Progressive Southern gospel music is music that is written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music...

 is an American music genre that has grown out of Southern gospel over the past couple of decades.

Christian country music

Christian country music
Christian country music
Christian country music is music that is written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music...

, sometimes referred to as country gospel music, is a subgenre of gospel music with a country flair, is also known as inspirational country. Christian country over the years has progressed into a mainstream country sound with inspirational or positive country lyrics. In the middle 1990s, Christian country hit its highest popularity. So much so that mainstream artists like Larry Gatlin
Larry Gatlin
Larry Wayne Gatlin is an American country music singer/songwriter. He is perhaps best known for teaming up with his brothers Steve and Rudy in the late 1970s, becoming one of country music's most successful acts of the 1970s and 1980s. Gatlin has had a total of 33 Top 40 singles...

, Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels
Charles Edward "Charlie" Daniels is an American musician known for his contributions to country and southern rock music. He is known primarily for his number one country hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", and multiple other songs he has performed and written. Daniels has been active as a singer...

 and Barbara Mandrell
Barbara Mandrell
Barbara Ann Mandrell is an American country music singer best known for a 1970s–1980s series of Top 10 hits and TV shows that helped her become one of country's most successful female vocalists of the 1970s and 1980s...

, just to name a few, began recording music that had this positive Christian country flair. These mainstream artists have now become award winners in this genre.

Bluegrass gospel

Bluegrass
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

 gospel music is rooted in American mountain music.

Celtic gospel

Celtic gospel music infuses gospel music with a Celtic
Celtic music
Celtic music is a term utilised by artists, record companies, music stores and music magazines to describe a broad grouping of musical genres that evolved out of the folk musical traditions of the Celtic people of Western Europe...

 flair, and is quite popular in countries such as Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

; the Dublin Gospel Choir
Dublin Gospel Choir
The Dublin Gospel Choir are an Irish gospel choir that have been performing in Ireland since 1996.-History:The choir was originally founded as a school choir in Dublin's inner city in 1996, and perform frequently, including at corporate and charity events...

 has had over 10 years' success with Celtic gospel music.

Controversies

Some proponents of "standard" hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s generally dislike gospel music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For example, Patrick and Syndor complain that commercial success led to a proliferation of such music, and "deterioration, even in a standard which to begin with was not high, resulted." They went on to say, "there is no doubt that a deterioration in taste follows the use of this type of hymn and tune; it fosters an attachment to the trivial and sensational which dulls and often destroys sense of the dignity and beauty which best befit the song that is used in the service of God."

Gold reviewed the issue in 1958, and collected a number of quotations similar to the complaints of Patrick and Syndor. However, he also provided this quotation: "Gospel hymnody has the distinction of being America's most typical contribution to Christian song. As such, it is valid in its inspiration and in its employment." (Robert Stevenson, Religion in Life, Winter, 1950-51.)

Today, with historical distance, there is a greater acceptance of such gospel songs into official denominational hymnals. For example, the United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

 made this acceptance explicit in The Faith We Sing, a supplement to the official denominational hymnal. In the preface, the editors say, "Experience has shown that some older treasures were missed when the current hymnals were compiled," a diplomatic way of saying, "It's all right to sing these songs in church."

Further reading


A selection of gospel music collected
by the Library of Congress in 1943
  • Blackwell, Lois. The Wings of a Dove: The Story of Gospel Music in America. Norfolk: Donning, 1978.
  • Boyer, Horace Clarence, How Sweet the Sound: The Golden Age of Gospel Elliott and Clark, 1995, ISBN 0-252-06877-7.
  • Broughton, Viv, Too Close To Heaven - The Illustrated History Of Gospel Music, Midnight Books, 1996, ISBN 1-900516-00-4
  • Albert E Brumley & Sons, The Best of Albert E Brumley, Gospel Songs, 1966, ISBN na-paperback Amazing Grace
  • Cleall, Charles. Sixty Songs From Sankey. London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, Ltd., 1960.
  • Darden, Robert, People Get Ready: A New History of Black Gospel Music Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005, ISBN 0-8264-1752-3.
  • Downey, James C. The Gospel Hymn 1875-1930. University of Southern Mississippi, MA, 1963.
  • Eskew, Harry. “Gospel Music, I” in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980), VII, 549-554.
  • Goff, James R. “The Rise of Southern Gospel Music,” Church History, v. 67, no. 4, Dec. 1998, pp. 722ff.
  • Hanson, Kenneth, The Hymnody and Hymnals of the Restoration Movement. Butler University, BD, 1951.
  • Heilbut, Tony
    Anthony Heilbut
    Anthony Heilbut , is an American writer, and record producer of gospel music. He is noted for his biography of Thomas Mann, and has also won a Grammy Award.-Life:He has a doctorate in English from Harvard University....

    , The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times Limelight Editions, 1997, ISBN 0-87910-034-6.
  • McNeil, W. K., Ed. Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music. Routledge, 2005. ISBN 0415941792.
  • Stevenson, Arthur L. The Story of Southern Hymnology. Roanoke, VA: Stone Printing and Manufacturing, 1931.
  • Zolten, Jerry
    Jerry Zolten
    Jerry Zolten is an American writer and advocate of roots music. He is known as the author of a book tracing the 30-plus year career of the African-American Dixie Hummingbirds gospel group and their influence on both sacred and secular music. Zolten is also known for numerous articles and CD liner...

    , Great God A' Mighty!:The Dixie Hummingbirds - Celebrating The Rise Of Soul Gospel Music, Oxford University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-19-515272-7.

Professional organizations

Firebird Arts Alliance - Encourages all races and religions to join
Gospel Music Association - Acknowledges all forms of Gospel Music
Gospel News Today - Primarily Gospel News
Gospel Viu - Gospel Without Borders
Gospel Wire - Primarily urban contemporary gospel
Pacific Gospel Music Association - Known for Southern Gospel
Southern Gospel Music Association - Known for Southern Gospel

Media outlets

Black Family Channel
Bobby Jones Gospel
Gospel Music Channel
The Inspirational Network
Christian Broadcasting Network
Trinity Broadcasting Network

See also

  • Gospel Music Hall of Fame
    Gospel Music Hall of Fame
    The Gospel Music Hall of Fame, created in 1971 by the Gospel Music Association, is a Hall of Fame dedicated exclusively to recognizing meaningful contributions by individuals and groups in all forms of gospel music.-Inductees:...

  • Gospel music WikiProject
  • List of gospel musicians
  • Museum of African American Music
    Museum of African American Music
    The Museum of African American Music is a Smithsonian-affiliated museum being built in Newark, New Jersey. The museum is the center of a larger project to revitilize The Coast/Lincoln Park district in Newark. The museum will feature various genres of African-American music, including gospel, blues,...

  • Soul music
    Soul music
    Soul music is a music genre originating in the United States combining elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of...

  • Stellar Awards
    Stellar Awards
    The Stellar Awards is the first Gospel Music Awards show in the country, honoring Gospel Music Artists, writers, and industry professionals for their contributions to the Gospel Music Industry. The Stellar Awards ranks high in status as the only Gospel Music television awards program syndicated in...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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