Jubilee Quartets

Jubilee Quartets gave us exactly what their name says they will. These groups consisted of four members,each singing in a different octave of voice – first tenor, tenor, bass, and the leader is usually baritone. They gave have more than four members however this is the average group size and octave roles are shared when the group expands. Throughout the development of the genre various variations of the group emerged all tailoring to specific sounds and/or audience. Through the development we were blessed with the university, minstrel, community based, sacred heart, and the barbershop quartets.The jubilee quartet as everyone knew at the time emerged in the last 19th century however, with the birthing of the gospel, the genre experienced a shift in the 1930’s. This was also the time in which radio was beginning to become popular, and this in some way also shifted the perception of the sound and music in its entirety. The gospel period reached its peak from around 1946-1969 and during this time, introduced jubilee quartet to ad libs as well as ring and shouts. Before this shift, most quartet groups sung the same way, not having much character amongst each group. Notable groups who emerged from this genre, however, included the Mills Brothers, Golden Gate Quartets, Fisk Jubilee Quartets, as well as the Dixie Hummingbirds to name a few.

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