Jubilee Quartets and the Transition to Gospel

Jubilee quartets were groups of four vocalists who sang spiritual hymns and harmonies without the accompaniment of instruments. This genre of African American music first emerged in the mid-1800s and carried on into the early 1900s. Inspired and derived from folk music and Negro spirituals, this religious music genre is most notable for its call-and-response motifs and four part harmonies.

The most notable quartets included the Fisk University and Tuskegee quartets, who paved the way for the genre by performing for the African American community as a way to spread love and hope, and to also resist the discriminatory circumstances during that time period. This genre would eventually evolve into transitional gospel, which would appear in the early to mid 1900s.

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