Her life was tough when her mother died when mahalia

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Unformatted text preview: opular in the secular world, it underwent several important stylistic changes. Changes in Instrumentation In the early years, gospel quartets sang without accompaniment, while gospel choirs were accompanied by piano and possibly small percussion instruments such as tambourines. During the 1950s, this changed. The gospel quartet began to add guitars and occasionally a bass and piano. The gospel choir added male voices to what had been a totally female group, and the instrumental accompaniment was expanded to include electric organ, amplified guitars, and drums. By the 1970s, this was further expanded to include strings, brass instruments, and additional percussion instruments including bongo and congo drums. For big concerts in really large performance halls, the accompaniment might be a full orchestra along with synthesizers and electronic instruments.12 Changes in Keyboard Style 11 Southern, pp. 459- 460 12 Southern, pp. 475- 476 11 Early gospel pianists played in a relatively simple style, concentrating on blues- style chords performed in a fairly straightforward manner with little ornamentation and embellishment. During the last half of the century, this style changed significantly. More complex chords and complex progressions replaced the simpler blues harmonies. Furthermore, the playing style was brilliant and flashy, stressing the pianist’s ability to improvise in technically demanding ways. The Proliferation of Individual Styles Gospel soloists also began to develop unique, personal styles that distinguished them as professional perfor...
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