Evolution of Gospel Music

Gospel Music

Gospel music started to take off in the 1950s in the United States, but it existed earlier back in the late 1920s and the early 1930s. It became very popular within the black community and American urban cities. Gospel has changed over time through the evolution of performance styles, rhythm, harmonies, and style of delivery. 

Terms and Characteristics

There is the Store Front Church and another Gospel musical term is Folk Spiritual, which is an Early Negro Spiritual during slavery. In fact, the picture on the left is a very famous traditional spiritual group, the Fisk Jubilee Singers. The Gospel Music genre has emerged during the Great Migration where African Americans moved up north after slavery. Other factors in early Gospel music are shout, which include stomping feet, clapping, and shouting. Then, there is transitional gospel music and a well-known group for that is the Golden Gate Cortet.  Another quality of Gospel is speaking in tongues and the familiar musical element is Call-Reponse, which is often used in choirs. the creation of choirs were during the 1900s-1910s. 

Early Gospel Music Examples

It is common knowledge that Gospel music includes elements like shouting, harmonies, and melodies. They are some of the essential qualities of what makes Black music. Gospel music started became more popular as Gospel music videos were being made in the 1980s. RnB Gospel came to life in the 90s and that period was when Gospel music production changed rapidly. After the creation of music videos, there were more visual and musical components added to the Gospel genre, including background music, rapping, dancing, and repetition. 

Starting from the early 1900s through 1950s, Gospel was very traditional, which included clapping, stomping, and choirs. Then as time progressed, Gospel has more background music and solo Gospel singing. Therefore, the musical elements performance styles, style of delivery, harmony, and rhythm is what contributed to the evolution of Gospel Music. 

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