This article investigates melodic figures and harmonic sequences that miraculously only step up to illuminate an aesthetic lineage that connects gospel to electronic dance music. It argues that the synth-risers and ever-opening filters of contemporary euphoric rave music like happy-hardcore and uplifting-trance find precedence in compositional devices that made their way into funk/soul and disco/garage from Black gospel music, and that these gospel inventions were derived from the Afro-diasporic ring-shout. Cognitive linguistic and psychoacoustic theories premise an analytical framework for musical representations of endless ascent. Through close readings of representative recordings—a 1927 Pentecostal sermon by Reverend Sister Mary Nelson, James Cleveland’s “Peace Be Still,” Chic’s “Le Freak,” Trussel’s “Love Injection,” and DJ Hixxy’s remix of Paradise's “I See the Light”—the article examines various historical intersections with parlour music, European art music, and modal jazz, and suggests that musical ascent has a non-causal but, nevertheless, objective relationship with a type of spiritual transcendence.

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