The beginning of gospel music is quite complicated. It is hard to trace the exact origin of this music as it has so many influences. Other music such as pop, rock, country and folk music have all contributed to gospel music as it is now know. The gospel music of today is quite different than the church hymns of the early Christian church.
It is believed that the largest influence of gospel music within America has been from the African-Americans who were brought over to the colonies as slaves. They brought with them the original African folk songs and tunes that are still prevalent in modern day gospel and worship music. In a similar way that other type of music has changed, gospel music has also seen a transformation.
Its popularity increased during the time of World War I and II and the Depression. These were time when people were facing serious situations. However, gospel music risked being suppressed by the “Free Love” movement that found that the ideas in the songs were not what people were looking for. There was also a turning away of young people from the church during this time.
Gospel music also increased in its popularity during the Vietnam War among those who had loved ones fighting within the war. Quite a number of pop and rock singers started singing gospel music within their church. Even though it is not clear the exact origin and date of gospel music, the industry has seen a steady rise in its gross sales in the past few years.