A common misconception is that music is purely for entertainment . It is however, not simply for this purpose alone. Gospel music, beyond entertainment , for one, emerged not only to entertain but also help the slaves express their hardships while living under the control of their owners.
Gospel music as known in the United States came out of the influence of African song and dance on to the traditional church music that African American slaves were exposed. Today, gospel songs are sung everywhere, from churches, heard on most radio stations and sung in almost every kind of gathering. Churches, however, are where one is most likely to see gospel choirs performing their repertoire of songs.
Gospel Music Beyond Entertainment and Solely for Worship
The overall purpose of gospel music, beyond entertainment , is to worship God, both with the melodies and with the message, which are often positive, enlightening and encouraging. Gospel music transcends all boundaries because, although art is purely for a personal purpose, this kind of music is not made for a personal purpose but rather for the purpose of worshiping a higher God. There is thereof re nothing self-serving about gospel songs. In fact, there is close debate on the secularization of gospel and Christian music, since one side is saying that music should keep up with the times and should be one that people will enjoy singing. The more conservative view, however, says that gospel songs are not sung for the entertainment of the singer but for the Lord and this should not necessitate a drastic change in the way that this kind of music is sung.
Aside from worship, another purpose of gospel songs is to spread the message the Jesus Christ. Gospel music is also designed to encourage followers in their walk in the Lord.
As an Artist’s Medium
It is true that gospel songs do not often serve as an artist’s medium since art basically a form of self-expression, while gospel music is the expression of worship.
Gospel songs do not have a political nature, but it has been sung in many a political rally. Music as a whole has the power to unite a people, to bring them closer together in order to accomplish a single goal. In the 60s gospel songs played a predominant part in encouraging those who fought against racial discrimination. Music was played in political rallies and even today some songs can be associated with the movement against racial inequality in the past.
Relaxation and Motivation
Gospel music, in particular, has not been particularly associated with entertainment . It was only when it begun to be influenced by secular music that it began to be seen as a form of entertainment . Gospel songs have flowing melodies and inspiring lyrics, and these put gospel music beyond entertainment . For one, gospel songs, with their encouraging lyrics, have been shown to help in relaxation, to give the emotions a positive boost, and even to aid in concentration. Gospel songs can serve as strong motivational tools, depending on the lyrics that it contains.