Gospel and the Jubilee Quartet by Janae Shaw

African American Gospel is somewhat derived from spiritual music and negro spirituals. Most of the songs within the Gospel represent a relationship with God and many themes of biblical stories. In the 1930s, gospel music emerged in three categories: Hymnal Style, Soul Style, and Exuberant Style. Within this period, many noticed a shift in the way Gospel sounded. Referred to the Father of Gospel Music, Thomas A. Dorsey, catalyzed much of the Gospel we know and love today, combining sprituals with a more jazz touch.
The relationship between Gospel Music and The Jubilee Quartet is specific to the influence the Jubilee Quartet had on Gospel Music, elevating its sound and the way it was produced.
The Jubilee Quartet emerged for the establishment of historically black Universities and College Choirs as a way to bring in money. The first example of a Jubilee Quartet came from Fisk University in 1871. Within this ensemble, they would perform a mixture of spiritual and what we now call African-American Gospel arrangements. “Jubilee” refers to freedom in many challenges, such as Slavery. Around this time, Slavery had only been abolished a few years before, and some newly freed slaves had the opportunity to gain an education. Some Jubilee Quartet Groups that came after the Fisk University Quartet were the Birmingham Jubilee Singers, The Selah Jubilee Singer, Norfolk Jazz, and Jubilee Quartets, to name a few.

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