Gospel Music by Makayla Leonard

Similar to negro spirituals, gospel music is used to heal, uplift and spread the message of God. During the 19th century, slaves were only permitted to gather in churches. Gospel music was the best way they knew how to express their sorrows and hopes for a brighter future. Although it all goes back to the same messages, the way the music developed was different depending on the culture.

Worship traditions largely influenced the styles, sounds, and rhythms in which gospel music was communicated with the public. Common form of gospel is call and response. Oftentimes when a service or song was so powerful performers and audience members would begin speaking in tongues. 

Father of Gospel Music: Thomas Dorsey

Dorsey pioneered the form in Chicago. Before devoting his career to the improvement of Gospel, Dorsey, the son of a Georgia Baptist preacher, was a prolific blues and jazz composer and pianist. Gospel music challenged the present church establishment. Black religious leaders originally rejected Dorsey’s strategy because of its associations with secular music(frowned upon) patterns of the technology such as ragtime, blues, and jazz. 

Noteworthy Artists: Mahalia Jackson, Bebe and Cece Winans, Tye Tribbet Mahalia Jackson , and Shirley Caesar

3 Types of Gospel

Traditional gospel can be described as hymns that were used and given to large choirs, this music style was also described as minimalist. Contemporary gospel is different in which they contain solos for different artists which allows them to tell their own testimonies through their praise.