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Celebrating Black History Month: The rich legacy of African American Spirituals and Gospel Music.
Sat - February 11, 2012 4:26 pm  |  A+ | a-
Black History Month
Black History Month
One of the most noted is black Gospel Music.Aside from Christmas, February is the month  many organizations pay homage to this musical art form. Gospel Music is called gospel because many song text are based in biblical history. Many of these songs were derived from the first four books of the new testament which brought good news. Unlike the Spirituals ,which when born in the rural plantation fields,gospel has its roots in the revival meetings of urban legends. When traveling white Evangelicals  began touring the back country roads known as the old saw dust trail, running tent revivals.Blacks began coming out and brought their sound to the Protestant hymns. As white Evangelicals  saw the power that these singers possessed, they began bringing them along on their revivals.Once blacks heard and learn songs from the protestant hymnals. These songs struck a note in their souls, they sang these songs from a different place. When many Blacks sang How I got Over they really meant it. As blacks began leaving the rural south and migrating to other cities during the twentieth century, they found that spirituals did not fit easily into their new lifestyles. A more expressive, unique music was needed to reflect their new found freedom, one that did not resemble spirituals or white gospel songs. Black Gospel music had arrived. It was different from spirituals it was composed (unlike folk music, which is not written down).It required instrumental accompaniment rather than a capella harmony.It used highly ornamented, often improvised melodies and ad libs that rang out to the heavens rather than a straightforward rendition of the printed notation. The African American voice was too large for a printed text. The African American voices rang out about contemporary and moral issues, often masked behind biblical stories. Both spirituals and gospel songs are religious and vocal in nature, but this new found gospel incorporated jazz rhythms and blues singing into religious music with the use of drums, guitars, tambourines,piano, and  organ.Then emerge of the Hammond organ which evenhandedly 
revolutionized the black gospel sound. Once in the hands of black musicians gospelworship was defined for the black church and it would never the same again. 
As we celebrate Black History this month let us remember that Gospel Music was 
the driving force behind. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights movement.Let's  all remember and celebrate the rich legacy of Gospel Music .
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