Where Did Gospel Music First Originate?

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Melodic, soulful and stirring, gospel music is unique in its ability to move people — emotionally and spiritually. And from the rich harmonies and upbeat tempos to the meaningful lyrics and bright energy, there’s a lot to love about this historied genre of music that first started developing in the late 1600s. The story of gospel music is a fascinating one that the University of Southern California describes as "a product of the religion, culture and history that constitute the African-American experience," highlighting the genre’s importance in Black art but also in Black culture.

From the traditional songs of enslaved people to early hymns, the style is a musical melange that continues to evolve. Whether you're a fan of the latest gospel music or can't get enough of traditional gospel songs, it’s important to learn about the ever-evolving history of the genre. Here we'll explore not only how gospel music became a celebrated genre in its own right but also how it continues to impact today’s songs.