Gospel Terms

Folk Gospel-consisting of a genre of a cappella music originating with Black slaves in the United States and featuring call and response

Great Migration- Renaissance for black art, Approximately six million Black people moved from the American South to Northern, Midwestern, and Western states

Traditional Gospel Music- The first style of Gospel Music includes works such as “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art”. Derived from Negro Spirituals and Anglican culture

Call & Response- melody sung by one singer then echoed or answered by another person or group

Synoptic Gospels- The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, describe events from a similar point of view, as contrasted with that of John.


Gospel Music is the fusion of Blues, Ragtime, Country Folk, and contemporary sounds that usually come together to sing the praises of God. Creating originally Anglican roots songs such as Amazing Grace was born. It was then broadened in the nineteenth century by baptist evangelist Phillip Bliss.  As I stated before the word gospel meant the biblical message of Jesus being the son of God. As popularity grew, white churches started to incorporate Gospel music in their own church spaces. Thus creating folk country gospel music that was wide spread during the 1870s. A key artist for the folk gospel was the Carter Family.

As gospel music became more popular it began to rise within the African-American church more and more. Since Gospel music was now being recorded and listened to, it became more widespread and gained more notoriety. A man named Thomas A. Dorsey saw the rise of popularity and decided to pounce upon it. He created a publishing company for the sole purpose of publishing the art form. During the Great Migration, it started the golden age of black gospel music. The great migration refers to black people taking the exodus out of the south and creating a new life in the North. This was a period of renaissance in the black community. By the 1960s artists such as Aretha Franklin, and Sam Cooke would stray away from the old way of doing gospel music putting soul and different genres in the mix. Lastly, we now enter the current stage of Gospel music. We have artists such as Kirk Franklin, The Clark Sisters, Maverick City Music, that are all taking each from of Gospel and making it their own. 

Traditional Gospel Music 

Amazing Grace

How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me 

I once was lost , but now I’m found 

Was blind, but now I see

Folk Gospel 

Well, whos that writing?  John the Revelator

Whos that writing?   ohn the Revelator 

Whos that writing?  John the Revelator


Contemporary Gospel 

Jireh, you are enough

Jireh, you are enough

I will be content, in every circumstance

Jireh, you are enough

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