Negro Spirituals

Go Down Moses

Dating back to the times of slavery, Negro Spirituals were songs that were used as a source of reflection for black people to voice their feelings on the struggles and the hardships they were going through. Being grabbed from their homes, and forced into slavery life was from plantation to plantation. These songs were used to inspire those who thought they couldn’t go on. They often expressed this form of music in their church services (the only thing that they felt was there’s). Some of these songs were hymns and organized in a call and response form.  But as time went on, they evolved. Today, they have been arranged so many different ways. They also went on to influence Jubilee Quartets (with a beat added) and choir spirituals. Famous Negro Spiritual composers included: Harry Thacker Burleigh (“Deep River”), Charles Albert Tindley (“Stand by Me”), Paul Robeson (“Congo Lullaby”) and Moses Hogan (“Elijah Rock”). Negro Spirituals were the root of the music we love today. It shows us just what our ancestors went through and what they overcame, and gives us the opportunity to feel the souls of our ancestors.

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