Negro Spirituals

Spirituals are religious music of African Americans during the time of slavery. Spirituals were originally an oral tradition that imparted Christian values while also describing the hardships of slavery. They were often embellished and they were also called either “church songs” or “jubilees” or “holy roller songs.” There are different types of Negro spirituals such as: folk, arranged spiritual for choirs and solos. Folk spiritual is a product of the antebellum South (occurring or existing before the American Civil War). It is the earliest form of indigenous a-cappella. Ring Shout is a form of folk spiritual characterized by leader-chorus antiphonal singing, hand clapping and other percussion. This incorporates highly stylized religious dance as participants move in a counterclockwise circle. Arranged choral or solos are made to fit either one person’s voice or an entire choir.

These are some videos to give examples of Negro Spirituals.

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