Gospel Music

History

What do you think of when you hear the words Gospel Music? It depends on your background to a great extent, such as religious ties and beliefs, geography, family, ethnicity, and what music you have been exposed to, not to mention personal preference. My interest leans toward the impact that Gospel has had on Popular Music. A brief look at the history shows us Anglican Church roots dating back over 250 years such as “Amazing Grace” (1772) written by the Cleric John Newton, or “Rock of Ages” (1763) written by Reverend Augustus Toplady. The term is believed to have been first printed in the 1874 publication by Philip Bliss, Gospel Songs: A Choice Collection of Hymns and Tunes. There is, as we all know many types of Spiritual Music that is tied to the experience of Black and Indigenous Peoples around the world, not to mention ritual songs from many different faiths and beliefs. It goes well beyond the Christian faith of course. But for today the music focus is about the Gospel music rooted in the American South. It is perhaps what first comes to mind when we see the words, Gospel Music.

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