Gospel arose in Black communities after the Great Migration in the twentieth century. Gospel is essentially spreading the message of the first four books of the New Testament of the Bible in musical form. Gospel means to “spread the good news” which is what the genre does. Gospel music currently is the music that all black denominations use to worship.
During the 1960s, the music started to take a less conservative path and became more lively. The general characteristics that can be found in all forms of Gospel music, specifically in the present day, is ad-libbing, praise breaks during the song, performance with a live band, call and response, a main singer with background singers, and the main singer sometimes acts as an MC. You can also hear people praising in the songs. Most Gospel songs have common themes an talk about love for God, praising God, blessings or personal testimonies.
In present day gospel, the music crosses genres. There is music that intersects the hip-hop, alternative, jazz pop, and country genres. Within the black community we see more of the hip-hop genre crossover. This can be seen in songs such as “Brighter Day” by Kirk Franklin and “Go Get It” by Mary Mary. The debate with this has been whether this evolution of Gospel can still be considered gospel. And the answer to this in my opinion is yes due to the fact that the music is simply supposed to be characterized by spreading the word of the New Testament of the Bible.