Jubilee Quartets

Jubilee is are fast and rhythmic songs that tell a story, sometimes with syncopation. The jubilee period occurred from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century as a way for black colleges to gain support for the financial difficulties. Quartet is a sacred a cappella group of 4 voices or instruments (sometimes with limited instrumentation). The quartets consisted of male and female a cappella ensemble of four to six voices that perform formal arrangements in close four-part harmony, with rhythmic style of singing. Fisk University, also known as the Fisk Jubilee Singers, was the first university to establish a tour to provide a financial cushion. 

Quartet Terms:

  • Hocket- interlocking patterns shared by two or more voices or instruments that produce a single melody
  • Jubilee Quartet- period of music from 1880-1929
  • Strophic- song form in which a single melody is repeated with a different set of lyrics from each stanza 
  • Grace Note- a short note performed as an extra before the principal pitch
  • Melisma- a single syllable sung over several pitches
  • Gospel Quartet- a period form 1946-1969 that consisted of different music styles
  • Fifth Lead- baritone singer doubling as falsetto
  • Walking/Pumping Bass- walking/stepwise rhythmic singing style

Take A Minute To Listen!

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