Jubilee Quartets

African American Quartets originated in the mid 1800s. They expressed cultural values of the African American community through singing a cappella. An African American quartet id not defined by the number of members but by the number of harmonies. They consisted of a minimum of four people, typically men, but not over six people. From 1880-1929 the Jubilee Quartet period emerged. Many of these groups were apart of a University and they sung sacred, secular narratives but in a faster tempo that the original songs. Alongside the university jubilee quartets there were minstrel jubilee quartets, community based jubilee quartets, sacred harp quartets as well as barbershop quartets. One quartet style that was very controversial were the minstrel quartets. They were white people who dressed up as blackface and impersonated black jubilee quartets.

Jubilee Quartet music had a great influence on gospel music. While very similar the two genres are not the same. One group of jubilee quartet singers was the Dixie Jubilee Singers. They performed the song “Give Me That Old Time Religion”

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrUrWVjir2U[/embedyt]

In my opinion Jubilee Quartet music was influenced by negro spirituals in that they took sacred songs and remixed them in a style that was popular for the time period. This is also why Jubilee Quartet singing was an influence to gospel music. They are both secular genres but gospel is like the upgraded popular form of Jubilee Quartet music.

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