The New Joyful Sounds: A Portrait of Gospel Music and the Melody


n The New Joyful Sounds, Ronnie Kennedy Barnes traces the history of that music. As a gospel singer himself and a student of the genre, he is eminently qualified to do so. Barnes breaks down the category into four distinct variations: quartet style, traditional gospel, contemporary gospel, and praise and worship.

The focus of this book is the quartet, in which male voices sing together in tight harmonies. The title refers to a classic quartet founded by Reverend Milton Brown and Howard Jones in 1989. Through a combination of songs, personal experience, and research into the history and social impact of the quartet, Barnes makes that music come alive.

For anyone who has used gospel music as a vehicle to express or experience the good news of Jesus Christ, this book is required reading.

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