"The focus on the music is still the same and the influence of southern blue grass music is now more obvious."
Southern gospel music is also popularly called “quartet” music. This refers to the use of four singers of varying tones to express the feelings within the song. Traditionally, one of the main differences between southern gospel music and mainstream music is the use of a baritone singer. The quartet consists of only men and the songs are used to relate a story from the Bible or a religious concept about Christianity. Another difference between southern gospel music and contemporary music is the use of instruments. Contemporary music will use a wide variety of instruments whereas southern gospel music is limited to a piano and in some cases a guitar or banjo.
Southern gospel has changed over the years to now have performances that include a mixture of men and women in a duet-style performance. The focus on the music is still the same and the influence of southern blue grass music is now more obvious. This type of gospel music was previously sung by travelling quartets selling music sheets, but it is now heard in many churches across the United States.