Members of the choir perform at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Worcester, Massachusetts. Music has long been an important part of church services, and this is particularly true of predominantly black denominations like the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church or the Church of God in Christ. Unison singing features the performers singing the same melody while harmonic singing utilizes complimentary themes to create chords or new rhythms in the music. The most basic form of gospel music focuses almost solely on vocals, though performers may clap their hands or stomp their feet to keep time and add a little extra dimension to the sound. However, many modern gospel genres use instruments to add more melodic and harmonic content to the sound. The most basic instrumentation consists of a piano or an organ playing the chords for the melody. Other styles of gospel utilize rhythmic instruments, like tambourines and drums, and even bass and


Chapter 1: Introduction to Gospel, R&B, and Soul Music

Made with FlippingBook Annual report