Jubilee Quartets usually sang their own arrangements of songs of the spiritual origin. Jubilee quartets were popular African-American religious musical groups in the first half of the 20th century. The name derives from the Fisk Jubilee Singers, a group of male singers organized by students at Fisk University in 1871 to sing Negro spirituals.
The Structure of the Quartets
1. Bass- There was always a Bass to help keep the steady percussive influence in the song
2. Two Tenors- One Alto Tenor with the tenor above that providing our Soprano Tenor sound
3. Lead- The lead vocal helped to provide the call and response affect usually associated with the songs sound by the quartet
1) The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet
2) The Bethel Jubilee Quartet
“We have this wonderful store of folk music-the melodies of an enslaved people, who poured out their longings, their griefs and their aspiration in the one great, universal language. But this store will be of no value unless we utilize it … unless our musical architects take the rough timber of Negro themes and fashion from it music, which will prove that we, too, have national feelings and characteristics”. R. N. Dett (1918) Slavery was over but we were still not free. Some quartets were formed as a way to inspire our black community and some as a way to make money on the street. But, they were all preaching the same message of black oppression, and hope for better days with the almighty God.