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Gospel Song
(489 words)

The term “gospel song” refers to a particular kind of religious song that flourished in the United States during the religious revivals of the Reconstruction era (1865–77) following the Civil War. Its texts are generally characterized by simple, direct words describing the condition of sinners and of their “being saved,” joined with music rooted in various European, British, and Afro-American folk traditions.

The musical origins of the gospel song are found in the camp-meeting song (from 1800), one of the most important of its antecedents, together with th…

Cite this page
Schalk, Carl, “Gospel Song”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 23 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_G191>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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