Negro Spirituals are considered the earliest form of religious music. Born from african slaves, the songs and style came from hymns and psalms introduced to them by the europeans. The main structure of this music was call and response. Call and response is when one person makes a statement and then others respond. The birth of this music essentially symbolized freedom and the will of the slaves to overcome. It reflected their humanity in a distant land.

Another part of Negro Spirituals is dance. People who performed to this music danced in a big celebratory group circle. The circle that they danced in was referenced to as the ring shout. Shouts were performed as expressions of worship and could be performed indoors or outside. The shouts also varied from region to region.