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Gospel

A type of Christian music and song which is an alternative to traditional Hymns and expressing often joyfully the shared experiences of Christian life.

It is often thought of as in its Black choir based form but many styles and formats exist and include well known solo artists.

It began in the early 20th century as Black musicians such as Thomas Dorsey set Christian words and Sprituals to Jazz and Blues music as a natural expressoin of their faith. It was banned by the church. Sung by solo artists (e.g. Mahalia Jackson, Sam Cooke, James Cleveland), and by quartets (a direct parallel with Barber's Shop) eventually leading to full Gospel Mass Choirs such as the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Many singers have included Gospel in their repertoire - Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston for example.

Examples of Gospel Songs

  • Oh Happy Day
  • His Name is Wonderful
  • Peace in the Valley
  • Down by the Riverside
  • When the Saints
  • How Great Thou Art