Gospel Music

What is Gospel Music?

Gospel music is composed and performed for the purpose of Christian worship and is typically sung by a choir. It comes from the words “god,” and the old English word of “spel,” which means “news” or “a story.” Gospel music therefore means, good news music about God.

Key Takeaways

  1. Gospel music has roots in blues and jazz since the 1930s.
  2. Gospel music has dominant vocals and strong use of harmony.
  3. It has its origins in African American churches of the South in the US.

Understanding Gospel Music

Gospel music has its origins in African-American churches in the Southern region of the US during the 1800s. It wasn’t until the 1930’s that the popular version of Gospel music emerged, due to Thomas A. Dorsey, also known as the “Father of Gospel Music.” He was a former jazz pianist and composer who integrated blues and jazz into gospel music, which is the version that is popular today.

Gospel music is defined with strong rhythms and elaborated refrains, accompanied by hand-clapping and foot-stomping.

See The History of Gospel Music

Related Terms

A Cappella A Cappella is a style of singing performance where a soloist or group creates music with no instrumental accompaniment. more

Falsetto Falsetto is defined as a male singing voice that’s unusually high. more

Hymn A hymn is a type of song specifically used for religious purposes and sung in a place of public worship. more

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