What is Bluegrass Gospel Music?

If you are a certified country music lover and a devout Christian, you’ll no doubt enjoy listening to bluegrass gospel music.

History of Bluegrass Gospel Music

To trace the roots of this new and popular gospel music subgenre, you’ll need to know a little bit about bluegrass music itself.

This particular style of music emerged in the 1940’s, most likely after the World War II and not before. As with most other types of music, no one person could be credited for its invention although Bill Monroe, who was part of the band Blue Grass Boys, is widely recognized nowadays as the music’s founding father.

Later on, Monroe was joined by other notable bluegrass artists in the band, namely Earl Scruggs (banjo), Howard Watts (bass), Chubby Wise (fiddle), and Lester Flatt, who played the guitar and was one of the vocalists as well.

Together, they established the definitive standards for bluegrass music and their songs continue to serve as a pattern for up and coming artists today.

At the start, bluegrass was mostly played in rural festivals and used for clogging or flatfooting, a style of dance that had been quite popular in such areas. During those events, folk music had often been played by bluegrass artists, although they weren’t called as such then.

Characteristics of Bluegrass Music

Bluegrass music largely uses stringed and acoustic instruments, which is unsurprising considering the fact that it had been developed in a time when household electricity hadn’t been as common or widespread and use of electric instruments – especially for country music – had been frowned upon.

Common instruments used for this genre include but are not limited to the upright bass, mandolin, acoustic guitar, 5-string banjo, and the fiddle.

One more notable instrument used in bluegrass music is the resonator guitar, which may be better known as the Dobro (in reference to its manufacturing brand). Other instruments you might see from time to time are drums, autoharp, piano, harmonica, and an accordion.

Vocal harmony is another key feature of bluegrass music, which may come in two to four parts. Of the various voices providing vocals, one would usually produce a dissonant sound due to having the highest pitch among the group. With gospel songs, expect vocal harmony to be more “soulful” while instrumental playing a bit more “subdued” than usual.

Today, even mainstream bluegrass bands and singers include gospel songs in their albums but there are bluegrass artists as well that exclusively perform gospel music.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chuck Farner June 14, 2010 at 7:40 pm

I would like to see more actual music and musician info
such as sheet music (bluegrass, etc); information on site’s that we music lovers could go to and enjoy; such as when a bluegrass festival will occur, where, and who is performing; any jams, and if RV, camping, etc are available. We live in Idaho; so this area is nice. We trip in Winter’s to Florida; Alabama, Georgia and states in between. So having a bulleten board giving facts to us would be great. Like here in Idaho we have several events; sometimes they have happened before we found out. We do belong to the NWIBS, Northwest Inland Bluegrass Society; and San Diego Bluegrass Society. My husband sings with a trio, plays instruments(Fiddle, Guitar, mandolin and bass). Charles is his name, better known as Chuck.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: