Gospel Music on Today’s Culture

Gospel Music on Today’s Culture

Right now, the 51st Annual Convention of the Gospel Music Workshop of America is being held in Atlanta. The hot topic? The state of gospel music. A cross section of people from the gospel community — including pastors, ministers of music, artists and church musicians — will try to get a sense of the impact of gospel music on today’s culture from three perspectives: the music, the message and the musicians.

Looking at the balance of tradition versus innovation in the styles of recorded gospel music and music performed in church has led them to ask whether the underlying message of gospel has changed, and what is the impact of that on the culture.

There has been a historic tension in the black church between the music and the musicians who it birthed. At different points in time, musicians were ostracized from the church for playing new styles of music that were deemed inappropriate. Often, these musicians picked themselves up from the proverbial curb of the church from which they were just kicked and took those new styles into the secular world.

Over time, these innovations were eventually accepted and invited back into the church, creating a pathway between the church and the secular music world and popular culture.

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July 31st, 2019

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