Skip over navigation

Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Fall 2018-2019
* AAS 305 / REL 391 / MUS 354 / AMS 355 (LA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

The History of Black Gospel Music

Wallace D. Best

This course will trace the history of black gospel music from its origins in the American South to its modern origins in 1930s Chicago and into the 1990s mainstream. Critically analyzing various compositions and the artists that performed them, we will explore the ways the music has reflected and reproached the extant cultural climate. We will be particularly concerned with the four major historical eras from which black gospel music developed: the slave era; Reconstruction; the Great Migration, and the era of Civil Rights.

Sample reading list:
Michael W. Harris,, The Rise of the Gospel Blues: The Music of Thomas A. Dorsey
Robert Darden, People Get Ready!: A New History of Black Gospel Music
Jerma Jackson, Singing in my soul: Black Gospel Music in a Secular Age
Teresa L. Reed, The Holy Profane: Religion in Black Popular Music
Anthony Heilbut, The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
150-200 pages per week.

Mid Term Exam - 30%
Paper in lieu of Final - 30%
Papers - 20%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
20343 L01 10:00:00 am - 10:50:00 am T Th   Woolworth Music Center   106   Enrolled:22 Limit:50
20344 P01 11:00:00 am - 11:50:00 am Th        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled
23954 P02 09:00:00 am - 09:50:00 am W        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled
24339 P03 11:00:00 am - 11:50:00 am W   Woolworth Music Center   104   Enrolled:12 Limit:13
24340 P04 11:00:00 am - 11:50:00 am T   Woolworth Music Center   104   Enrolled:7 Limit:6 Closed
24364 P05 03:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm W   Class of 1879 Hall   131   Enrolled:3 Limit:3 Closed
23028 P99 TBA        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled