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Children's LiteratureAs its first task, this book defines Gospel music in the prologue to set the stage for readers. The development of Gospel music is traced back first to Africa and slavery. In an effort to cope, slaves turned to music where they could find moments of relief from their hardships. Almost any occasion was cause for music, singing and dancing, including weddings, births and holidays and was usually provided by the plantation's slaves. Many instruments rooted in Africa found their way to America through the slaves. Blacks in America began going to war including the American Revolution and Boston Massacre in 1770. Music was used to keep marching time and having musical abilities permitted many slaves to be assigned to these duties. Gospel music then evolved in the church, whereby everyone participated through singing, dancing or clapping. Thomas A. Dorsey is known as "the Father of Gospel Music" and Mahalia Jackson the queen. Gospel music is often inspired by faith and religion and developed what is known as Negro spirituals. Characteristic of this technique was a lead singer with three background vocalists utilizing a call and response method. Other forms of music that have contributed to the development of Gospel music, include ragtime, blues and jazz. Modern Gospel as we know it entered Americans in the 1950s during the civil rights movement. Gospel music has also been integrated into country music popularized by Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. Other legends include Sarah Vaughan, Nat King Cole and more recently, Kirk Franklin, who combines hip-hop music with gospel. This informative examination of significant gospel artists and composers also includes a chronology, bibliography andpictures.