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The Color of SoundRace, Religion, and Music in Brazil$
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John Burdick

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814709221

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814709221.001.0001

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We Are the Modern Levites

We Are the Modern Levites

Three Gospel Music Scenes

(p.29) 1 We Are the Modern Levites
The Color of Sound

John Burdick

NYU Press

This chapter provides a historical and ethnographic overview of the three music scenes which are the book's main foci. Gospel rap appeared in the early 1990s with the conversion to Protestantism of influential rappers. Gospel samba arose in the 1990s as well, as several neo-Pentecostal churches sought to bring their missionary message into the belly of the beast during Carnaval. Black gospel began in the 1960s, in the efforts of Brazilian church singers to bring North American Negro spirituals into their midst, and took off in the 1990s with the arrival of videos of North American black churches. The chapter concludes with several key ideas shared by artists across the three genres: the religious value of music, its role in spiritual life and evangelization, and the meaning of spiritual anointing in music.

Keywords:   gospel rap, gospel samba, black gospel, black churches, Protestantism, Brazilian church, music

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