Where Did Black Gospel Music Originate
Gospel music is a genre of Christian music that has its roots in the religious revivals of the 19th century.
The music was developed in various directions within the communities of the United States that includes African Americans and European Americans.
Over the decades, both communities have contributed to publishing, recordings, concert, and broadcasting of the songs. In the late years of the 20th century, gospel music evolved as a famous commercial genre as the artists sang them while touring worldwide.
Gospel music is composed and performed for religious ceremonies, aesthetic pleasure and as an entertainment product for the audience. The music has dominant vocals with strong use of harmony along with the Christian lyrics.
Before you go further, ask yourself, What is Black Gospel Music before knowing its origin.
The tradition of recognizing Black American gospel music appeared in the late years of the 19th and the early years of the 20th century. Along with blues, jazz, and ragtime, black gospel music also gained popularity.
The music emerged out of the confluence of the sacred hymns, shouts, jubilee quartet songs, and sacred hymns. Black gospel music is considered to have evolved from the American pop music genres.
In the initial days, gospel music experienced confrontation from various church leaders.
However, later on, other composers started contributing and the audiences supported this combination of black sacred fold music with urban styles.
The lyrics of Black gospel music is significant because it addresses the theologies, worldviews, culture and the multiple experiences of the African American people.
The lyrical content of the songs can be inspirational, social justice-oriented, inspirations, evangelistic, testimonial, or devotional.
The emergence of Black Gospel Music
Most African Americans would believe that black gospel music emerged in the early years of the 20th century. The music was popularized by the pioneers like Thomas A Dorsey, Willie Mae Ford Smith, and Sallie Martin.
The individual church members were encouraged to speak and sing about their experience and faith in the Holy Ghost and dance in celebration.
Artists like Arizona Dranes started to preach while traveling to places and make records in style infused with the traditional religious themes of the barrelhouse, jazz, and blues.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a pioneer to make the first great gospel recording. She was the first person to introduce ragtime to the gospel.
In the year 1930, black gospel music witnessed a rise. Many black gospel musicians were performing with a guitar and singing on the roads of southern cities. In the same year, Thomas A.Dorsey established a publishing house in Chicago and the National Baptist Convention endorsed the music during its 1930 meeting.
Radio also contributed to developing an audience base for black gospel music. Dorsey helped to uplift the musical career of African-American artists like Mahalia Jackson.
Gospel music originated during the American slavery period. The enslaved Africans were introduced to Christianity and a huge number of them were converted as well.
Black gospel music is by far the most popular variant that emerged as African-American music and continues to the base of Black church worship until today. You can easily find black gospel music praise and worship here.