As Perceived Through Nelly Ruach
Jubilee Quartets became widely popular in the beginning of the 20th century. These groups found their name through the biblical context of the year of Jubilee in the Bible when Gods people were being freed from bondage and slavery and began to prosper. Similar, the original Jubilee singers were direct decedents of the recently freed slaves, hence sending them into years of Jubilee and hope for a better future. This group of singers originally consisted of four to six singers who used the harmonies of their voices, minimal instruments, and a mighty melody of acapella to sing Negro Spirituals.
The original Jubilee Quartet sings were comprised of four individuals who attended Fisk University. Known as the Fisk Jubilee, spanning from 1909 to 1916, these four men used their vocal abilities to fund their education. The four members, Alfred King who held the position of first bass, James Myers who held the position of second tenor, Noah Ryder who held the position of second bass, and John Work II who held the position of first tenor started a monumental movement that created a staple for this musical genera among many other Historically Black Colleges and Institutions.
The Jubilee era was when this genre was first beginning. This could be found among barber shop individuals, in universities, and within communities.
The transitional era was when this became more of a recognized feat. Everything became more intentional as it began to spread among the north, was introduced into churches, and people began touring and making profit off of their performances.
While the gospel era consisted of the use of instruments and add lib. Would be sang in a church and allowed for members to sing off wim along with the tune.
The growing popularity of the Jubilee Quartet singers went beyond is influence among
other HBCUs but quickly spread to churches and eventually to the rest of the world through many popular musical groups.