Gospel – Then vs. Now

Old School - Mahalia Jackson

Legends like Mahalia Jackson sang gospel music in its earlier days. Jackson made Gospel in the 1950s become popular because of her style. She adlibbed in long and drawn out shouts that made those around her catch the spirit. Mahalia Jackson had more of an angelic sound, she started most of her songs with the piano and aloud the rest to follow. 

New School - Marvin Sapp

Marvin Sapp is credited with helping to evolve the new sound of Gospel. Marvin helps for people today to connect with God through his music. Sapp focuses on the struggles people and how God can help them to see better days. He incorporates all types of instruments and also includes the chior as a huge part of his music. 

Difference in Lyrics

"See the devil is a lie, no, im not going to die, its okay to cry, cause he is by your side...You lost your job, your bills are due, and all the people you helped, did not want to help you"

"If the member in the church , and he won't do right, tell me what we gonna do, let the church roll on, let the church"

Comparing the lyrics by two Gospel artist, both in different eras, it can be seen that today’s Gospel (Marvin Sapp) caters more toward shaming the devil. Today’s Gospel focuses on the woes people face and the struggle that many go through to keep their faith. Today’s Gospel serves more as a reminder to remember God and all that he has done for the individual and has a message to change a non-believer into a believer, caters to the weak spirited. The earlier form of Gospel (Mahalia Jackson) already assumes that everyone in the church has a strong relationship with God and focuses on prevailing the church. Older Gospel does not touch on individual struggle but the unifying the church as a whole to serve God. Also, another difference in Gospel music is that older Gospel praises God more, while today’s music has praise on Jesus more. 

Gospel has come along way since its beginnings. The amount of change can be seen in just two songs and artist. Gospel will forever be a very uplifting and heartfelt genre of music. I love Gospel, but until now have never looked at the differences between Gospel from the past. I personally am leaning now more toward older Gospel. 

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