The argument of whether gospel music is a genre of music or not, has once again whipped my curiosity to ask the question; what is the meaning of gospel to the VGMA board? Because the meaning of gospel is not on VGMA's website.
When one searches for the meaning of the word gospel on any search engine (Google, WiseGeek, Wikipedia, etc) he/she likes or believes in, one is likely to sample numerous meaning of the word.
Whatever the definitions may be, the universal principle of the numerous meanings is one; 'gospel is about the good news of God.'The good news about God can be preached by any human being through any form of music – hymns, highlife, folkloric, hiphop, hiplife, reggae, raga, Pop, RnB, Jazz, etc.
As of today, there is no definite industry standardized beat or rhythm for a gospel music. No one can listen to a lyrics-free beat and be able to determine if it's a gospel music. It is in this light that school of thoughts like myself always stand by the argument:“our so called gospel music are not genres of music but a description of music which usually has religious undertone.”
If gospel is about the good news of God, then by cognitive logic, it means all the different sectarian religions such as: Islam, Hare Krishna, Hinduism, Eckankar, Buddhism, etc which are all in Ghana, also preach about the good news of God through music or songs.
One meaning of gospel I stumbled upon defined it as; 'a message about Jesus Christ.' If that is the definition the VGMA board believes in, then I will say Ghana music awards which has run for 13 years now is a 'Christian-biased award scheme' which to me, cast aspersions on the board's holistic view of music? If the boards definition of the word gospel is a message about Jesus Christ, then I suggest they change the prefix word 'gospel' attached to the gospel nominations to: Christian Song of the year, Christian Artiste of the year, Christian Album Song of the year……because Jesus Christ is affiliated to Christianity.
What we should all bear in mind is that if you stretch the full meaning of the word gospel, it transcends one religion or religious sect.
Does the VGMA board receive songs for nominations from other faiths? Because, I don't ever remember seeing any song from other sectarian faiths such as; Islam, Hare Krishna, Hinduism, Eckankar, Buddhism, etc nominated for any category after 13 years that the award has been organized.
What is the true meaning of the word Gospel in the dictionary of VGMA? This is not a trivial subject. We need to hear from the board for education sake. Until then….MOTWUM!!
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