Religion Past and Present

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Gospel Music
(343 words)

[German Version]

“Gospel songs” (or “gospel hymns”) were successors of the Sunday school songs which originated in the USA (1840s), and the earlier spirituals (both black and white) associated with “brush arbor” camp meetings. These simple, strophic, major-key hymns with refrains were first created by musicians of the Lowell Mason and William Bradbury teaching tradition and gained popularity in the meetings held by D.L. Moody and singer I.D. Sankey. The texts usually express some aspect of Christian devotional experience, often stated in the first person. F.J. Crosby's “Blessed a…

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Hustad, Donald P., “Gospel Music”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 17 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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