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The Gospel (of English goodspell , gospel ',' Good News', derived from the Old English Godspel , god , good 'and spel , narrative', 'message') as is the German language a Christian African-American style of music, the beginning, of the 20th century from the spiritual as well as elements of the blues and jazz . The German term den or das Gospel is a work belonging to this musical genre.

In the original understanding of the English language, "gospel music" in the broadest sense describes the development of Christian music on the North American continent from the gospel song of the 19th century to Christian pop music , but in a narrower sense also the church music of African American communities.

German usage

In the understanding of the German language, the term gospel is used as a generic term for the various forms and developments in Afro-American Christian music from the modernization and commercialization of the spiritual at the beginning of the 20th century. As a result, only works with corresponding stylistic roots in German are considered gospels.

The gospels were initially practiced mostly as community singing, but were also performed by singing groups, choirs and as a soloist. The instrumental accompaniment was often provided by a band with drums, bass, piano and / or organ. This chronologically, first subordinate genre is called Black Gospel in German (English: Traditional Black Gospel ).

A closer term for further developments of the style up to the current Gospel (English: Contemporary Black Gospel ) try in German projects like Modern Gospel by Christian musicians like Danny Plett or the series Songs for Gospel by Hanjo Gäbler . As a gospel choir consider themselves religiously oriented choirs that put an emphasis on Gospel in the narrow sense or spirituals. Often church choirs call themselves that, which in addition to gospel also maintain a variety of other popular styles.

English usage

Although this definition also applies to English usage in the narrower sense, the term is used here in an expanded sense and then includes the entire development of Christian music in North America since the Baptist and Methodist revival movement in the 19th century. The term “gospel song” appears here in print probably for the first time in 1874 by Philip P. Bliss and originally had an evangelistic and missionary character according to the English word “gospel” for “gospel” . In German, then still largely free of Anglicisms , was from the term "gospels" in this understanding of the gospel song .

The complexity of the English understanding of the term shows the following quote:

“But you know, gospel is not the sound, the sound - it's the message. If it's about Jesus Christ, it's gospel. "

Gospel Award

From 2004 to 2006, the television work of the Protestant and Catholic Churches as well as the Christian aid organization World Vision Germany presented the Gospel Award in Germany's largest gospel competition.

Well-known gospel songs

Well-known gospel songs according to the German definition include:

For songs associated with gospel such as Go Down Moses or When the Saints Go Marching In see: Spiritual .


  • Teddy Doering: Gospel. Music of good news and music of hope . Sowing, Neukirchen-Vluyn 1999, ISBN 3-7615-5121-5
  • Bernhard Hefele: Jazz Bibliography. Directory of international literature on jazz, blues, spirituals, gospel and ragtime . Saur, Munich a. a. 1981, ISBN 3-598-10205-4
  • CH Dood: History and the Gospel , Oxford 1963, Hooder.
  • Andrae Crouch, Nina Ball: The Andrae Crouch Story , Asslar 1977, ISBN 3-921872-00-6 (main source of this article)
  • Micha Keding : History and Development of Gospel Music ( full text , main source of this article)
  • Micha Keding: Description of musical style ( full text , main source of this article)
  • Lothar Zenetti : Whip and Psalm, Negrospirituals + Gospel Songs , Munich 1963, Verlag J. Pfeiffer
  • Wilhelm Otto Deutsch: Spirituals and gospels are not the same , in: Ev. Church in the Rhineland, “Topic: Divine Service”, No. 27/2007, pp. 45–51
  • Robert Marovitch: The Gospel According to Malaco: Celebrating 75 Years of Gospel Music (Malaco Records. Book and 8-CD set.)

Individual evidence

  1. Oxford English Dictionary, current online edition, Art. "Gospel, n.", Http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50097093?query_type=word&queryword=gospel&first=1&max_to_show=10&sort_type=alpha&result_place=1&search_id=nFGC -FFDJln-1964 & hilite = 50097093  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (March 8, 2010).@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / dictionary.oed.com  
  2. http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Gospel_Musikrichtung
  3. http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Gospel_Lied_Song
  4. Interview in the Allgemeine Zeitung Bad Kreuznach, issue October 24, 2008
  5. The Gospel Award goes into the third round. 2006, archived from the original on July 8, 2010 ; Retrieved July 8, 2010 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Gospel  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations