History of Gospel Choirs

gospel kybach

For years we have heard about a musical trend called “Gospel” and as a common
person, we have not been interested in what this trend is, and as the times we
have heard it has been associated with religion or the gospel we think it is
“religious music”.

We must keep in mind that the original word to call is kind of musical trend was
“GodSpell”. Which is logical because what this trend conveys is an
invitation to God. Over time the word was changed by the bad pronunciation of
the same representatives of the trend.

Another thing we should know is that “Gospel” is a term to describe a type of
music. “The Gospel” is Jesus Christ. “Gospel” can be from a
southern gospel quartet to hymns played by Elvis. “The Gospel” is a
story told in the Bible, with personal variations to each human being, whether
they believe it or not. The first is a musical category; the second is a

What is “Gospel” music? Defining a musical genre is not
trivial since it is not just about its rhythm. The music called
“Gospel” is a musical trend with much Christian content that praises
and celebrates Jesus.

His lyrics speak of the gospel and spiritual themes and have a difference with the
Christian songs that are softer and quieter. The Gospel is usually more rhythmic
and light in very harmonious voices choirs although they also have slow parts.

The musical trend called “Gospel” has a history of many traditions and is older
than we can think, the difference is that originally thought as something
related to the Catholic religion, today this genre covers many ramifications.


Gospel music as such is considered religious music that emerged from African-American churches in the eighteenth century and began to be popular as of the 1930s, but as such, it is considered that Gospel music really consolidates and is born
initially in the United States, in the middle of the first half of the 20th
century in African-American churches. This musical trend is born of the fusion
of two musical genres: that of the black slaves and their songs of faith and
hope and the traditional hymns of the “white” churches. Hymns that
grew with great force from a movement promoted by John Wesley, known as the father of Methodism and considered the creator of the current evangelical movement.

The interpreter of this type of music better known was Rosetta Tharpe, better known
artistically as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who played the electric guitar in an extraordinary way and her performances were always accompanied by a huge chorus of voices. This striking way of interpreting the trend influenced the genre a lot.

The trend, with the coming of the years, has sought ways and has become commercial,
interpreters like Mahalia Jackson, limited only in religious environments, while others like the Golden Gate Quartet, Reverend Timothy
Wright and Clara Ward, have exposed their music in other places, including nightclubs.

The protagonists and most important interpreters of this musical trend have been:

The Barrett Sisters of Chicago: They recorded their first album in
the mid-60s and gained popularity in radio and television.

Blind Boys of Alabama: Since they were all really blind and
their Gospel / blue and soul came to win a Grammy in 2005.

Withney Houston: And yes, this singer had her
beginnings in choirs of Afro-American churches, influenced since childhood by
her mother and her aunt.

Dionne Warwick and her godmother
Aretha Franklin:
They are other greats from Soul, Gospel and R & B.

Donnie McClurkin: Representative of the most current
trend and who has won several Grammy awards and released several albums since

But since
Gospel music was part of the birth of Rock & Roll in the 50s and other
musical genres such as Country music and R & B could not help mixing the
praises of God with the mix of those rhythms. The Rev. James Cleveland who was a Gospel singer continued with this
trend giving way to Jazz and Pop within the tradition of Gospel music and was
considered the king of this musical trend.

In this
trend, there are several modalities among which stand out: The Black Gospel,
the Gospel Choir and the Contemporary Gospel. The first one based on black or
African rhythms with a predominance of palms and voices, the second one accepts
using different musical genres using a chorus of voices and the third one is a
variation of the traditional tendency using electrical instruments, drums and
other instruments that besides being a show is accompanied with choreography
and lights.

Over the
years this religious musical trend has spread throughout the world and so have
arisen organizations such as The
Australian Gospel Music Association, Norway with its Gospel Ansgar, Canada has in Quebec two choirs Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir and Quebec Celebration Gospel Choir.

In Spain: Cor Gospel Carlit, in Barcelona, the
oldest in Spain; the Institut de Gospel
of Barcelona and the gospel choir of
Madrid, the Gloria Choir (Valencia),
the Gospel choir of Vigo, Leon,
Salamanca, the Gospel Choir of Castilla
la Mancha, and since 2008 the Catalunya
Mass Choir.

At present
we can say that musical genre called “Gospel” takes all musical
styles, as long as it exalts the name of God.

How the choirs arise

The choirs
in the religious musical genre is of very old tradition and there is no exact
date of how they arose, but we can affirm that this musical tendency (Gospel)
has a preponderant influence in its creation and this is because in the
interpretation, for being a popular congregational music, it led to the
creation of choirs.

As the
rhythm is simple and initially began with a four-voice singing that little by
little became choirs organized with one or several soloists who improvised
their lyrics and a chorus that repeated some refrains.

Over time
the “Gospel” choirs have been improving over time already in the
religious field as commercial. And yes, there are already groups that charge
for their performances, which are really surprising because of their lyrics,
choirs, emails, and rhythms.

You may
wonder who would hire such a group to entertain an event? Well, imagine that
you want a civil or religious wedding, that you have a cocktail, an
anniversary, a convention, a company party, etc. and that the component people
are religious, and you have the answer of how this trend has been

information has been researched and written in order to make known this
movement every day more committed to the Christian message, even those who make
commercial sense. We hope it will serve your cultural heritage.