“Melodies from heaven…”
Gospel music emerged in the 1930’s. Gospel music came from Jubilee Quartets which came from Negro Spirituals. The difference between Negro Spitiruals and Gospel music is Gospel music is more geared towards biblical text. Gospel music didn’t get recognized until the National Baptist Convention. The father of gospel is Thomas A. Dorsey who was known as a blues and jazz composer and pianist, pioneered Gospel in Chicago. Dorsey was so intuned and intrigued with gospel music that sometimes some gospel songs were called ‘dorseys’. Dorsey’s most known gospel song was, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”.
When gospel music first came about, the genre was rejected by churches because of its close resemblance to ragtime, blues, and jazz. When the father of gospel, Dorsey, decided to team up with Mahalia Jackson; that’s when gospel music became known all across the world. There are two main elements that makes up a gospel song. The first element is the instruments. The instruments consist of a piano, organ, guitar, drums, and in some occasions: the saxophone. The next element is referencing the bible. Some well known gospel artist are: Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Fred Hammond, and Hezekiah Walker. Some older gospel artists are: Mahalia Jackson, Arentha Franklin, Mississippi Mass Choir, and of course: Thomas Dorsey.