Gospel Formed Today’s Blues, Rock (R & B), Soul And Jazz
One approach to appreciating black gospel piano is to analyze its influence on other forms of music. A major source of musical inspiration is gospel piano, and through investigating its impact, we can recognize the value of its complete application. This is because in the course of history, a variety of musicians adopted the unique characteristics of gospel and used them to form the blues, rock (R & B), soul and jazz that we have today.
Ray Charles, Ben E. King, Sam Cooke, And Aretha Franklin
If you listen to the early piano work of Ray Charles for example, you’ll definitely hear black gospel piano. Ray Charles broke free from a Nat King Cole “sing-alike” reputation when he produced music to gospel tunes in 1953. “I Got a Woman” is a prime example of this phase in his career and he didn’t completely abandon the gospel influence until after the mid-1960s.
Gospel music also influenced the Ben E. King and Sam Cooke’s productions. As soul artists, both King and Cooke filled the air with modified gospel songs while Aretha Franklin, the daughter of a church clergyman, demonstrated more success with the style.
Gospel Music Is Church Music
From the 40s to the 50s, black gospel dominated the style of most black musicians, and thanks to radio it grew in popularity. But one of the controversies surrounding its popularity was the fact that gospel music originated from the church and thus considered a sacred entity. “Gospel music is church music,” proponents would say, “so it should stay in the church!”
Although the church audience agreed, the controversy didn’t seem to stop its popularity or its influence on future generations. Mahalia Jackson, the as the Soul Stirrers, Ruth Brown, Faye Adams, the Dominoes, the Midnighters and hundreds more continued to build an identity from the gospel effect.
A Solid Fixation In The Church
Despite it’s widespread use however, gospel music never died out. It went on to influence rock or ‘n’ roll, but it remained a solid fixation in the church. With such a strong impact on the history of music, we’re reminded of black gospel piano’s importance both inside and outside of the church because it has also promoted new interest in it. More and more pianists today express a strong interest learning how to play it.
Still Has A Lot More To Offer
It really is amazing to see how far black gospel piano has come, but there’s another point to consider – namely that we can now apply a past-present-and-future connotation to the music that it shares. Yes, we’ve learned a great deal about gospel piano thus far, but experience has shown it still has a lot more to offer. And that’s why its unique, time-all presence forces us to recognize its critical value and prompts us to accelerate its approaches. For depending on the effects, black gospel piano may yet influence newer styles of music that have yet to be discovered.
Further Gospel Piano Resources:
- GospelKeys 101 – Basics and Fundamentals
- GospelKeys 202 – Mastering Worship Chords
- GospelKeys 300 – Exploring Praise Songs
- GospelKeys 500 – Experiencing Up-tempo Shouting Music
- GospelKeys Xtreme – Contemporary and Urban Worship
- GospelKeys Urban Pro 600
- GospelKeys Organ Series 350 & 450