3 FIELD WORK RESEARCH QUESTIONS Running head: FIELD WORK RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1

3
FIELD WORK RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Running head: FIELD WORK RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1
Research Questions
1. How has gospel music influenced popular music in the 20th century?
2. How did gospel music influence the Civil Rights Movement?
3. How has gospel music contributed to the evolution of jazz, soul, and rock?
1. How has gospel music influenced popular music in the 20th century?
Gospel music is, chronologically, the oldest popular music that continues to shape the contemporary music scene. It is typically a form of music that combines spiritual lyrics and often religious-themed or related melodies with popular music (Julien, 2018). It originally evolved in the black church in the United States out of a mixture of cultural influences. In essence, the focus was on the amplification and spread of the Christian Gospel through music.
The style became increasingly popular outside of the church in the 20th century, evolving into soul and rhythm and blues genres. As it began to be increasingly incorporated into popular secular music, it gained exposure to an ever-growing audience (Dowley, 2018). Given its history and already established popularity, it was widely accepted by the music industry, leading to an ever-growing market for gospel performances. Ultimately other music genres began to borrow from gospel music, leading to a change in their own musical style.
2. How did gospel music influence the Civil Rights Movement?
Gospel music has influenced the Civil Rights Movement, which was largely a protest against segregation. When Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), they used gospel music as a basis for their protests (Marsh, 2019). The SCLC thereby helped to start the civil rights movement of the 1960s. During this time, gospel music was used to bring awareness to the causes behind the protests. As a result, gospel music became synonymous with African American culture.
During the civil rights movement era, gospel music was used to encourage the youth to participate in civil movements and instill confidence. In addition, gospel music was used to attract the masses to the course and invigorate meetings and rallies (Braunstein, 2021). Gospel music later developed into a way for the youth to express their faith and let go of their fears. As a result, gospel music was used as a form of expression and guidance to the youth who took part in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
3. How has gospel music contributed to the evolution of jazz, soul, and rock?
The contributions of gospel music have been profound in shaping popular forms of jazz, soul, and rock. Gospel music has resulted in the creation of more harmonies than any other genre outside classical music. Gospel music has also had a strong tradition of constant improvisation, which continues to be influential in the development of jazz and rock (Marovich, 2020). In addition, gospel’s use of call-and-response singing has helped create more effective lyrics. Gospel has generated a trend in popular music, where one song often flows into another.
Throughout the history of jazz and rock, gospel music has been a primary influence. The influence is all but undeniable, particularly when considering the gospel’s specific structure and unique style. Gospel music contains elements of Indian classical music, African rhythms, blues, and European classical vocal traditions. Each of these has been important in shaping the jazz, soul, and rock music genres (Marcus, 2022). The manner in which the songs are sung is also among the primary elements that have shaped popular music.
NB: For this project, I will be using several online resources to provide supporting evidence.
 
References
Braunstein, R. (2021). The “right” history: religion, race, and nostalgic stories of Christian America. Religions, 12(2), 95.
Dowley, T. (2018). Christian Music: A global history (revised and expanded). SPCK.
Julien, O. (2018). ‘A lucky man who made the grade’: Sgt. Pepper and the rise of a phonographic tradition in twentieth-century popular music. In Sgt. Pepper and the Beatles (pp. 147-170). Routledge.
Marsh, C. (2019). God’s long summer. In God’s Long Summer. Princeton University Press.
Marovich, R. M. (2020). Move On Up: Chicago Soul Music and Black Cultural Power. ARSC Journal., 51(1), 56-69.
Marcus, J. C. (2022). A Historical Re-contextualization of the Soul Jazz of Julian “Cannonball” Adderley (Doctoral dissertation, The William Paterson University of New Jersey).