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Transcript of Traditional Gospel
Gospel music varies according to cultural and social context and is
Composed and performed for many different reasons:
Aesthetic pleasure, Religious and Ceremonial purposes
An entertainment product
•The earliest origins of gospel music are during American slavery when
enslaved Africans were introduced to the Christian religion.
But gospel became what we know it as today when instrumentation was introduced to black churches. This turned a previously unorganized genre into a genre that has congregational participation and piano and other musical accompaniments.
•Chicago is regarded as the birthplace of black gospel because its churches produced many of its writers and singers What is Traditional Gospel? Charles Albert Tindley, I Will Overcome Someday
1901 1967 – “Oh Happy Day” is recorded by the Northern California State Youth Choir (later dubbed the Edwin Hawkins Singers). This one song almost single-handedly creates the genre known as contemporary gospel. Key groups, soloists, and composers in this movement include Walter Hawkins, Tramaine Hawkins, Andraé Crouch and the Disciples, the Winans, and the Clark Sisters. Reverend James Cleveland and Mattie Moss Clark helped give rise to the movement by their tireless work composing, arranging, and recording for large choirs. A Brief Timeline and History of Gospel 1865 – Slavery legally abolished with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. 1871 – The Fisk Jubilee Singers set out on their inaugural tour to raise money to help save Fisk University from closure. Eventually becoming an international tour, the choir brings the sacred music of African Americans the attention of the world. The Jubilee Singers also provide a model a tight, four part harmony-centered, choral singing that will continue for generations within the African American community. 1901 – Songwriter and religious leader Charles Albert Tindley begins publishing songs in Philadelphia. Classic compositions by Tindley include “Stand By Me,” “We’ll Understand it Better By and By,” and “Some Day (Beams of Heaven).” 1906 – The Azusa Street Revival begins in Los Angeles under the direction of the African American religious pioneer William Seymour. In addition to giving rise to modern-day Pentecostalism, the music of the revival recaptures the energy of the pre-emancipation shouts and is one of the key events in the development of gospel music. 1920’s – American recording companies begin producing “race records” to market to the African American consumer. In addition to blues, ragtime, and early jazz, African American preachers and gospel artists such as Arizona Dranes, Blind Willie Johnson, and Washington Phillips will also be highlighted in part because of the fresh, raw sound. This music is also referred to as the gospel blues and the holy blues. 1921 – The National Baptist Convention publishes the songbook Gospel Pearls, the first hymnal from a major African American denomination to include selections of the new music that would become known as gospel. 1931 – Theodore Frye and Thomas A. Dorsey create the first gospel chorus. Dorsey would go on to co-found the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses. Included among Dorsey’s more than 400 compositions are the gospel standards “Precious Lord,” “Peace in the Valley,” and “Highway to Heaven.” 1938 – Sister Rosetta Tharpe scores the first million-selling gospel record with the hit single “This Train.” Tharpe was the dominant gospel music performer of the late 1930’s and 1940’s, mixing soulful guitar licks and big band accompaniment with sacred lyrics. 1945-1965 – The Golden Age of Gospel—due to its unprecedented popularity—was dominated by soloists such as Mahalia Jackson and groups like Swan Silvertones, the Caravans, and the Original Gospel Harmonettes. Perhaps the most important group to this expansion beyond the church walls was the Clara Ward Singers. In 1901 he began sponsoring concerts for church songs
-In 1916 he published the collection 'New Songs of Paradise' (37 works)
Context of these works that also set the scene for future gospel performance aesthetics:
-Sunday schools, prayer meetings, Epworth League meetings, and social gatherings.
-Tindley never indended for his works to be performed in a formal worship service, however the future for gospel had different plans.
-Beginning with Gospel Pearls Prolific Composers Gospel Pearls and its significance: -Created in 1921 by the Sunday School Publishing Board of the National Baptist Convention to fulfill the need for real inspiring and adaptable music in Sunday Schools, Churches and any other religious gatherings
-Contains three sections of which Tindley is represented in the first two. 1. Worship and Devotion 2. Revival 3. Spirituals
-This text is key to gospel because the gospel tradition was primarily transmitted through oral tradition and few texts exist from this time period Look familiar?
They're important! His Life:
-Born in rural Georgia
-His father was an initerant Baptist preacher, thus Dorsey traveled a lot as a child
-He played pump organ in these rural churches he traveled to
-At eleven his family moved to Atlanta, here Dorsey met many important stars of vaudeville and they aided in his musical education
-By 1916, Dorsey was an experienced dance pianist giving him his nickname "Barrelhouse Tom"
-He toured with Ma Rainey between 1923-1926 on the T.O.B.A. circuit
-Accompanied her with his 'Wildcats Jazz Band' (Also wrote and arranged music for her)
-Formed a songwriting team with Tampa Red (nè Hudson Whittaker)
His Gospel Influence:
-He attended a meeting for the National Baptist Convention in 1921, he heard the hymm 'I Do, Don't you' and it was at this point Dorsey decidedto be a gospel singer
-He wrote his first song, 'If I don't Get there'
-He is credited with being the first to use the term "gospel song" to apply to black church music
-He incorporated many blues characteristics into the gospel music he wrote
-Created the first female gospel quartet in history Thomas Dorsey
"The Father of Gospel"
"Barrelhouse Tom" Charles A. Tindley Look familiar?
They're important! Speaking of T.O.B.A. - What is it? -Theater Owner's Booking Association
-The black Vaudeville circuit
-80 theaters that spanned across the nation
-The T.O.B.A. ended during the great depression due to loss of business and race records also died (We just talked about this) Lucie Campbell (1885-1963) (1899-1993) (1851?-1933) Her life:
-Public school teacher in Memphis
-Beginning in 1916 she was active in the National Baptist Convention, the National Baptist Music Convention, and the Convention Choral Society
Her gospel career:
-Gained attention when her song 'Something Within' was sung at the Convention in 1919
-Her first copyright for a gospel song was 1905 'The Hits'
I Need Thee in Every Hour
The Lord Is My Shepherd
He'll say Well Done 'The Hits'
If You See My Savior
Precious Lord, Take my Hand
There Will Be Peace in My Soul Azusa leadership 'The Hits'
Stand By Me
We’ll Understand it Better By and By
Some Day (Beams of Heaven) Sallie Martin 1896-1988 Life and gospel influences:
-Native of Georgia, settled in Chicago in 1919
- Immediately started singing in church choirs
-In 1932 she auditioned to sing in Dorsey's chorus at the Pilgrim Baptist Church, and was excepted
-After traveling extensively with Dorsey as his song demonstrator she traveled the gospel concert circuit as a soloist
-In 1940 she founded a gospel-music publishing company with jazz pianist and gospel composer Kenneth Morris
-She influenced gospel music when she premiered as the leading role in the French production of 'Gospel Caravan' in Paris; but also through her original songs and her students William Herbert Brewster, Sr. (1897-1987) Life and gospel influence:
-Minister of a Baptist church in Memphis
-Officer of the National Baptist Convention
-Credited with first using triplets in gospel music ('Surely God Is Able') His musical characteristics:
-They were very distinctive
-Vivid biblical images
-Extreme and sudden tempo changes 'The Hits'
How I Got Over
Just Over the Hill
Move On Up a Little Higher So what's the difference between gospels and spirituals? Spirituals Gospel -The Spiritual uses bent tones only occasionaly -Had religious context but it created to communicate between slaves using double entendres -Didn't have musical accompaniments because the history of spirituals began in the fields of slavery -Spiritual texts are group oriented and tell stories about Biblial events and figures (especially from old testament) -Spirituals typically only have one strain that is repeated Both -Texts are subjective and hortative/texts revolve around a single theme -Topics include conversion, salvation, yearning for spirituality, etc. Much wider range than the subjects of spirituals -Gospel melodies have an emphasis on their roots in blues, with its flatted thirds and sevenths -Instrumental accompaniment is essential to the aesthetic -There is a rhythmic intensity due to marked syncopation and percussive instrumental rhythms -Gospel uses strophic forms including verses and refrains -Based in religious context
-Based in vocal performance
-All core African musical characteristics are present, only varied in the amount they are used (syncopation, blue tonality, call and response, polyrhythms) Roberta Martin (1907-1969) -In 1931 her career began as an accompanist for the Dorsey-Frye gospel choir at Ebenezer Baptist Church
-The two were a huge influence in her musical development
-In 1931 she was the cofounder of a five-member male group 'The Martin-Frye Qartet'
-In 1936 they became her very own Roberta Martin Singers
-By the 40's she had added women and toured with this group, writing and arranging gospels as she went
-This was the first time men and women were integrated together in a gospel chorus
-By 1939 she had founded her own publishing company, (also self titled) 'The Roberta Martin Studio of Music'
-She also created a distinct gospel piano style Traditional Gospel