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Gospel Music in the Church and World
This seminar analyzes contemporary African American gospel music as it is currently implemented for liturgy, evangelism, and popular consumption. Beyond analysis of key musical and lyrical characteristics of gospel, this class gives attention to the religious and sociocultural contexts that inform gospel composition and performance. Black American gospel music is integrally connected, if not inextricably linked, to the liturgical and theological traditions of black American Pentecostals, Baptists, and Methodists. Consequently, this course is also a musical introduction to African American Christianity, and especially to African American Pentecostalism, which is the faith tradition that a majority of contemporary national gospel artists claim. Finally, the global resonances of this music are explored. Classes include interactive demonstrations in addition to discussion of audio/video recordings, other primary source material, and other required texts. Students also engage in participant observation of church services and music performances.
The student should have familiarity with Christianity.
Regular grading is the default method for evaluation. Students may choose to switch to credit/non-credit at the beginning of the term.