YouTube Black Gospel Music: The Best Instrumental Songs
Looking for the best black gospel music to help you get through your day? Look no further than YouTube. There are tons of great instrumental songs available to listen to, and they can really help to lift your spirits.
What is black gospel music?
Black gospel music is a genre of music that is traditionally performed by African American Christians. This type of music is typically characterized by its use of spiritual or religious lyrics, its focus on vocal harmonies, and its use of traditional musical instruments. Black gospel music has its roots in the African American church traditions of the United States.
The history of black gospel music
The history of black gospel music can be traced back to the 18th century, when the first hymns were created by African Americans. These hymns were based on spirituals, which were songs that originated in the African American community. Spirituals were often songs about God or religion, and they were often sung while working or during ceremonies.
Black gospel music has its roots in the blues, as well as in traditional black church music. Black gospel music has been influenced by other genres of music, such as jazz and rock n’ roll. Black gospel music is a genre of religious music that is characterized by its use of spirituals, blues, and jazz.
The best black gospel songs
There are many great black gospel songs out there that can uplift your spirit. Music is a powerful thing, and gospel music is no exception. These songs can offer hope, encouragement, and inspiration. If you’re looking for some great gospel songs to listen to, check out this list.
“Amazing Grace” is a Christian hymn published in 1779, with words written by the English poet and hymnist John Newton (1725–1807). Newton wrote the words from personal experience. He grew up without any particular religious conviction, but his life’s path was radically changed after he was involved in a horrific slave-trading incident. He subsequently became a devout follower of Jesus Christ and joined the Church of England.
Newton’s hymn celebrates God’s love and mercy in saving sinners, even those as wretched as Newton once was himself. The text is famous for its opening line, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound / That saved a wretch like me.” It has been called “one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world” and has been translated into many languages.
The original music was adapted from “New Britain”, a tune composed by English composer William Walker (1809–75). It has often been attributed to American Shaker composition, but this is inaccurate; Walker’s tune predates any known Shaker melody by more than half a century. The first known appearance of Walker’s tune was in 1835, when it was published in The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, one of the most popular songbooks of its time.
The best-known and most influential version of “Amazing Grace” was published in 1847 in shape note notation in Northern Alabama by publisher W. C. Martin. This version became widely popular among Southern Baptists in America during the Second Great Awakening (1790–1840), when it was used extensively during evangelistic campaigns and camp meetings. It has been reported that Dwight L. Moody (1837–99), one of the most important evangelists of that era, sometimes chose to sing this song rather than preach when he sensed that the Holy Spirit was moving powerfully among his audience.
Since then, “Amazing Grace” has been recorded thousands of times by artists from many musical genres including country music, pop music, gospel music, folk music, hip hop music, punk rock music, rhythm and blues music, and rock music. In 1998, singers Gloria Estefan and Luther Vandross released a cover version as a single which reached number one on Billboard magazine’s Adult Contemporary chart; their album Amazing Grace: A Tribute to Titanic also went to number one on Billboard 200 chart during that year
“Oh Happy Day”
“Oh Happy Day” is a 1967 gospel music arrangement of an 18th-century hymn by Philip Doddridge. Recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers, it became an international hit in 1969, reaching No. 4 on the US Singles Chart, No. 1 in France and the Netherlands, and No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart. The Hawkins recording has been voted the seventh-best gospel song of all time by Time.
The original version of “Oh Happy Day” was written by English clergyman and hymnwriter Philip Doddridge in 1755. It first appeared in print in Doddridge’s Hymns Founded on Various Texts in Scripture (1755). The lyrics were likely based on Psalm 42:4, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Doddridge’s tune was adapted and rearranged several times during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In 1812, American shape note composer William Little published a setting of Doddridge’s text titled “Joy to the Person of Jesus Christ”. Little’s tune was adapted from a previous melody composed by Shubal Stearns, a leading figure in early American gospel music.
It wasn’t until 1967 that “Oh Happy Day” entered into gospel music history. That year, Edwin Hawkins—a leader in Northern California’s community gospel music scene—was planning a benefit concert for a local church youth group. Hawkins asked local singer Dorothy Combs Morrison to write an original composition for the event. Morrison demurred, but she did offer to write an arrangement of an existing tune that might work for their purposes. She chose “Oh Happy Day”, basing her arrangement on Little’s 1812 setting of Doddridge’s text.
According to Morrison, she finished writing the arrangement “in about an hour”. The piece was originally scored for solo voice with piano accompaniment; however, Morrison’s arrangementstress syncopation throughout, along with call-and-response elements borrowed from African American gospel music traditions. Morrison recalls that when she originally presented her arrangement to Hawkins, he wasn’t sure it would work for their purposes:
Hawkins soon changed his mind; he asked his sister Lois—a classically trained musician—to transcribe Morrison’s arrangement for a larger ensemble. The resulting score called for eight soloists (four men and four women), two pianists, electric bass, drums, congas, tambourines, and electric guitar.
With its modernized musical arrangements and use of secular musical genres like soul and rhythm and blues, “Oh Happy Day” was unlike anything most contemporary gospel audiences had ever heard before—and they loved it!
“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot is a Negro spiritual. The earliest known recording was made by Fisk Jubilee Quartet in 1909. Though the song is mostly associated with the Underground Railroad, it is believe that originally it was part of the folk tradition of the poor black workers in the cotton fields of the American South.
The best black gospel songs (cont.)
When it comes to choosing the best black gospel songs, there are many factors that come into play. The first is the quality of the music. There are many great musicians out there, but not all of them can produce great music. The second factor is the message. The best songs will have a message that is uplifting and inspirational. The third factor is the popularity of the song.
“We Shall Overcome”
This song became an anthem of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, and has been covered by many artists including Mahalia Jackson, Pete Seeger, James Taylor, and Bruce Springsteen.
“A Change is Gonna Come”
“A Change is Gonna Come” is a song by American recording artist Sam Cooke, released on December 22, 1964 by RCA Victor. The song was written in the summer of 1963 by Cooke and recorded shortly after the Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama. It concerns African-Americans’ struggle for freedom and equality during the civil rights movement. It peaked at number 31 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart in early 1965 and has become an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement.
“Lift Every Voice and Sing”
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” is a song written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson in 1900 and set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson in 1905. The song was first performed by 500 school children in Edward Waters College’s commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in Jacksonville, Florida. It was later selected as the Negro national anthem by the NAACP.
The song has been recorded by many artists, but the most popular version is probably Mahalia Jackson’s rendition, which she recorded for heralbum Blacks, Blues, and Gospel in 1957. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is sometimes referred to as the “black national anthem”.