Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Musicians that sing Gospel or Gospel Musicians?

Music influences all that are interested in it or anyone who has never liked music ever since they arrived on this earth. This is the reason it has a biggest bearing on Malawi life even when the country was undergoing autocracy up to the time it adopted democracy.
The advent of plural thinking in Malawi, as these pages will never stop reminding you folks, also so brought with it the mushrooming of many things including musicians.
While music that became popular was that which touched on politics, still there emerged another crop of musicians like Alan Ngumuya, Sweeny Chimkango and Wyclief Chimwendo etc. who people – or was it self-regrouping – grouped into what they started calling gospel musicians.
There, a major contrast emerged; while a free-to-sin life characterised musicians that were not into this gospel group, the gospel group was – without having it written down – supposed to be the mirrors of righteousness.
But the gospel group started bulging at the seams due to influx of these musicians some that have brought mediocre music quality that these pages have talked about – very poorly done trying to ride on the back of ‘word of God’, others like Mr. Geoffrey Zigoma never knew where to place their feet.
The joining of the gospel bandwagon by every Jack and Jill has completely changed the first impression each one of us had about our musicians yes gospel musicians.
A number of questions have since started appearing, one of which is whether it is right to call every other musician who sing about God or Jesus a gospel musician.
These pages have also ever pointed out that realising what this entails, Mtebeti Wambali Mkandawire ever said he is not a Gospel Musician but he is a musician who sings on spirituality.
The hogwash that is now dominating the media on countless scandals – or is it just mere activities of living their lives – has forced out one big question; is it Musicians that play Gospel Music or Gospel Musicians.
Lucious Banda, Billy Kaunda, Skeffa Chimoto, even Black Missionaries have and keep singing songs where they mention God and Jesus but do we call them gospel musicians.
Dustan Kapitapita, George Mkandawire, Grace Chinga are musicians who sing about God and Jesus in their songs and we call them gospel musicians.
However, if Kapitapita, Chinga or Mkandawire were to be viewed from a different perspective, would it be wrong to first appreciate that they are musicians who sing music that spread gospel and not gospel musicians?
Gospel Musician or a Musician who Play Gospel Music are these mere semantics or is there indeed a difference in the two?
Wikipedia, that internet version of an encyclopaedia defines Gospel Music as music written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life besides giving Christians alternatives to mainstream secular music.
It further says like all other forms of Christian music, the creation, performance, significance and even the definition of gospel music is composed and performed for many purposes, including aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes and as an entertainment product for the marketplace.
The theme in such gospel music is obviously praise, worship, or thanks to God, Christ or the Holy Spirit and what the Holy Trinity stands for has to be professed in the way such music is performed as well as the way the players of such music comport.
Without trying to complicate the matter, I pose a question do what we refer to as Gospel Musicians, Musicians that sing Gospel or indeed Gospel musicians?
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