Jubilee quartets were popular African American gospel groups that originated in the mid-1800s. This became a way for black colleges to obtain support for financial struggles. This tradition stemmed from the Fisk University’s Fisk Jubilee singers organized by George L. White in 1871. Because of this, it initiated the use of quartets amongst other black colleges making it popular. This genre of music came from Negro Spirituals, but was sung at a faster tempo. Quartets involve a minimum of four voices, and a maximum of six singing acapella with little or no instruments used.
Over time, Jubilee Quartets began to spread from black universities to black churches. Many quartets gained nationwide popularity from radio broadcasts, tours, and records throughout the early and mid 1900’s. Some of the well known Jubilee Quartets include Take 6, Golden Gate Quartet, Dixie Hummingbirds, Five Blind Boys, and Dinwiddie Colored Quartet.
What do I Think?
Jubilee Quartets make me think a little bit about my church choir. Only because it uses harmonization throughout the songs with multiple voices. Most choirs usually have more than four to six people, but in my church, there is usually the lead singer and four others in the background. Also, quartets are a religious form of music, so of course it is incorporated into any form of gospel music, which I listen to quite often.