The Story of the Gospel

Because of the religious nature of gospel, it has so much meaning. It is truly music that moves people, and is arguably one of the most emotion evoking genres. No other music can make people praise, cry, shout, and dance the way that Black gospel music can. The genre originated during The Great Migration. The Great Migration was the mass migration of Blacks from the south to the north after the abolishment of slavery. The term gospel came about in the 1930’s. Its origins exist in negro spiritual music but it is more energized has higher and more prominent vocals. It is often characterized by a lead vocalist and a choir. The singing is accompanied by instruments such as piano, drums, and saxophones. The most essential element of gospel music is the shout and syncopated clapping. As stated before this genre has a lot of significance because of what religion means to the Black community. This music symbolizes community, testimony, and triumph of our people because of the grace of God. It will be ever lasting and in order to maintain its relevancy draws from popular genres like r & b, hip hop, and pop music. Important performers include artist such as Mahalia Jackson who is credited with popularizing gospel music. She is still noted as one of the best Black vocalist of all time. Present day gospel performers include artists such as Mary Mary, Yolonda Adams and Marvin Sapp. Living in the capitalist society that we live in, many people have seen opportunity for profit from peoples desire for salvation. This allows for a large commodification of the genre. In conclusion gospel music is timeless because of its meaning in the Black community and its ability to incorporate elements from all genres while keeping its religious meaning.

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