Thursday, 22 June 2017 10:24

TRADITIONAL GOSPEL, AFRICAN-AMERICAN STYLE

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Gospel music mainly figures among the musical genres that have always underpinned human civilization.

Gospel music is indeed a Christian music genre with vocal dominant that varies according to culture. Its origin remains intimately linked to the primitive blues.

Etymologically, the word “Gospel” comes from Old English “gōdspel” (from gōd ‘good’ + spel ‘news, a story’); which means “goodnews”.

But, earlier in the 1870s, instruments such as organ, harmonium, wind instruments, hand-clapping and body movements essentially characterized the traditional gospel music.

In this context, gospel music took the form of "gospel hymns" before evolving into gospel songs in the 1930s.

At that time, it was traditional hymns and melodies in vogue.

The twentieth century began with a genuine artistic effervescence for the African-Americans, the "gospel hymns" becoming "gospel songs" whose bases are both simple and sophisticated.

However, at the beginning of this century, people cannot really talk of gospel music.

In truth, gospel is undoubtedly, in the dynamics of the Afro-American style, a musical revolt against a racist America.

It is therefore an expression of the suffering of African-Americans recently emancipated, but still under white people’s authority, especially in the Southern States; Resulting in a very large migration to the major cities of the North (Chicago, Detroit, New York). These populations do not get engaged politically even if they remain faithful to the Republican Party, to Lincoln, their liberator. Gospel music, not only involves more instruments as mentioned above earlier, but also more often refers to Jesus Christ and to the Apostles, that is, to the Gospels, as opposed to the "negro spirituals" which evoked rather Characters from the Old Testament (Joshua Fit the Battle of Jerico, Go Down Moses, etc.).

The gospel features vocal quartets and famous singers. The vocal quartets remain the most popular phenomenon of gospel music. They are composed of two tenors, a baritone and a bass. This four-part polyphony, also known as a male quartet, was largely inspired by the barbershop singers, who met in the hairdresser's stall. The simple harmonization of these quartets has the particularity of involving a voice above the melody. These vocal quartets are more spontaneous, take more risk than the academic choruses that weary because of their rigor and their conventional aspect; hence, a great success. One of the best known is the “Golden Gate Quartet” during the period between the two world wars. In their early days, they were called the “Golden Gate Jubilee Singers” and sang a cappella in 1934. Between 1937 and 1943, they recorded over a hundred titles in a religious as well as profane register in the cabarets.

The most important women will mostly be connected with Thomas A. Dorsey who has put them at the forefront. Although gospel music had been expanded in the 1930s, it was only in 1945s that women could become known in a very macho musical style. Besides, Catholic parishes sometimes hold liturgies adapted to the gospel style.

Begun in North America in an anglophone context marked by the struggle against slavery, the Gospel genre music has since spread into other cultural and linguistic areas. Thus, in the 1960s and 1970s, a French-speaking Gospel was born, carried by the Protestantism of the Caribbean, West Africa, Quebec and Western Europe.

Modern gospel artists have incorporated soul music elements. The origin of this style comes from the African-American evangelical Christians, following the Negro spirituals. It is in this musical bubbling that “Your Gospel Team” will leave its fingerprint.

As a matter of fact, “Your Gospel Team” is a gospel artistic agency composed of gospel music professional artists of African-American style with proven authenticity.

First of its kind in Switzerland, “Your Gospel Team” is specialized in livening up concerts, weddings, flash mobs, birthdays, baptisms, company parties, workshops, conventions, campaigns, seminars, conferences and other events.

Thanks to its meticulous artistic work, it guarantees, for the events, a very high vocal and musical level. An excellent performance put to the service of customers with a unique objective: making the event unforgettable!

The gospel style of “Your Gospel Team” lies in the emphasis on vocal power. In this, it is almost unnecessary to emphasize that the artists of “Your Gospel Team” are soloists with magnificent voices.

Domiciled in Switzerland and France, the artists, all of very high level, move for shows throughout Switzerland and abroad.

With the support of the Municipality and the City of Moudon (Canton of Vaud in Switzerland), “Your Gospel Team” founded the “Moudon Gospel Festival” in 2014 with great success. This festival takes place every year.

For additional information, please visit our website at www.yourgospelteam.ch

 

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