"TAKE ME TO THE KING": THE TRANSFORMATION OF BLACK GOSPEL MUSIC

Gospel music is the 20th century of African American religious music that came after the Great Migration. Thomas Dorsey, “The Father of Gospel Music” originally was a blues and jazz pianist and composer, but he devoted his time to develop and advance gospel music. Gospel is also known as “good news”, and is embodied in the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but evolved more than just the text. Gospel music then differed based on the denomination. It is most popularized in the Pentecostal, Baptist, Methodist and Non-denominational churches. Although it was created to send praises to God and a way to express troubles as well as joy from African Americans specifically, white people began creating their own gospel music as well.

CHOIR

Choir music is still prevalent in today’s society. Artists and composers have maintained the arrangements and lyrics that reflect the same message of old choir music from the 90s.

1994

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2020

PRAISE

Music that exalts praises are high energy and can give off a secular hip-hop feel. Praise gospel music has transformed over time, but again, the original vibe and intention is similar. A lot of the music can produce shouting and high energy clapping and dancing (seen the most in pentecostal churches).

1976

2014

2020

WORSHIP

In contrast to praise, worship music has also grown extremely popular as it is slower and focuses on the lyrics really professing love and adoration towards God. Worship music also allows the Holy Spirit to really show up, which is why a lot of acoustic/live worship songs have been produced, and you can hear people speaking in tongues and praying during the songs. This style of gospel music is seen a lot in Non-denominational churches (white churches as well).

1990

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2007

2020

Gospel music has definitely changed over time, and is loved and adored by every race all over the world. But, African American gospel has stood strong over time, and even now is still touching people everywhere even as it has took on many forms. The fact that it has been able to compete successfully with popular genres and even has been sampled by artists within those same genres (hip hop, jazz, rap, r&b, etc), shows its power and influence!

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