Lack of Gospel Music :(

I really want to learn black gospel music. I was raised on it, and when I hear it, I just KNOW it’s packed with complex, beautiful, jazzy, intelligent chords, harmonies, and melodies. But I can’t study them through the lens of Hook Theory because there’s hardly a single gospel song on Theory Tab :’( I’m sad.

There should at least be the classics:

Kirk Franklin - Melodies From Heaven
Kirk Franklin - Whatcha Lookin For
Marvin Sapp - The Best In Me
Sister Act 2 - Oh Happy Day
O.T.R. - I’ll Fly Away
Fred Hammond - We’re Blessed
Phillip Bliss - All Is Well
[^Youtube Playlist^]

I would really appreciate it if some of you music theory wizards took it upon yourselves to enlighten us with the ways of 90’s black gospel music theory.

Here’s the chord progression for The Best in Me:

More exact chords, as best I can tell:
Eb13, D7#5, Gm11, F11no3, Bb13
Eb13, D7#5, Gm11, C9, F11no3, Bb6/9

As you might have picked up from jtullis’ post, Hooktheory doesn’t support the complex chord extensions found in most jazz and gospel music. Although simplified chord progressions can be posted, in many cases I don’t bother to analyse jazz and gospel music on Hooktheory, instead resorting to the old-fashioned way (pen and paper). In many cases, that sharp-five or thirteenth degree makes all the difference, and showing the progression without it is almost counterproductive.

Is that to say that the actual progressions themselves are not “distinguishably” jazz/gospel? Their sound comes entirely from voicing?

Not really. I think the jazz and gospel sound comes from many things - voicing and chord extensions being one (admittedly a very important one), but instrumentation, vocal style, feel etc being some of the many others.

Hi… I’m no musician… in fact I’ve only just started to learn to play the piano. At first, when I saw chords like, Eb13, D7#5, Gm11, C9, F11no3, Bb6/9… it nearly put me off trying.

However, in my short time learning I’ve come to realise that there are only a small number of basic chords… and these never vary… everything else…9, 6th and inversions etc are rearrangements, additions, or subtractions from these basics.

Therefore, if you remove all the extras, you’ll end up with the basics… and as with everything, leaning the basic first is the important bit!?

I’m now great believer in any God, but I do like many hymns. I found this lovely site and it offers a free book of hymns with basic chords. Worth a look of anyones time, so check it out:

The most fantastic thing I’ve noticed is the magic of the patterns you find in music… the relationship with number… 5, 7, 12 etc and how everything interelates… keys, progressions, spacings… just everything… what ever your style, likes, or interest in music… there is a common and basic bond.