Take Me to Church: Gospel Music in America

The Origin of Gospel

Gospel Music has deep roots within the African American Church. The elements that are associated with African American Gospel music can be traced back to western African. During the slave trade, slaves brought their culture with them to the United States. After the Great Awakening, Africans and their descendants added rhythm to the christian music that was introduced to them by the slave masters. This transformed into what we now know as negro spirituals . African Americans had invisible churches where they were able to worship and sing spirituals away from the master. This became the base for African American Spirituality and Gospel music descended directly from Negro Spirituals. Gospel music ultimately started in the south , but with the great migration , Gospel Music spread all over. It spoke of the struggles of generations and how God saved the.

"Steal Away to Jesus " by Mighty Clouds of Joy

Steal away to jesus was a trditional gospel song sung by the group the Mighty Clouds of Joy in the 1960s. The song truly captures all the elements that are typically associted with African American Gospel music such as call and response and syncopation. This song captured the the soul and struggle that was present in Negro Spirituals. The song its self was composed during slavery with the hope that they would one day escape into the arms of Jesus. The song  became a very important song in the Gospel Music and was sung by many. The way the Mighty clouds of Joy sung this song shows how early Gospel music was. It was sung in an almost Jubilee quartet style but had the elements of soul music which was popular in the 1960s

Other Songs by Mighty Clouds of Joy

"Steal Away to Jesus" by Michelle Williams and Shirley Caesar

This song has many versions and this version really shows how Gospel has involved. This version of the song has more concert gospel elements. The version by the Mighty Clods of Joy had more traditional African American music elements like call and response and improvisation. While this version does have call and response , it also has elements that are attributed to more modern gospel like ornamentation.

Conclusory Reflection

I enjoyed learning about the origins of Gospel Music and how it has changed. No matter how much gospel music has evolved over time , it has many elements that can be traced all the way back to our roots in African. Gospel music then sounded more soulful like negro spirituals. Gospel Music now has a more pop sound. Gospel music evolved with the times. No matter how it changes , the presence of God can be found in every song.

What's your password?

Login to your account

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.