Soul Music

Soul by Makayla Leonard

Soul originated in the 1950s in the southern united states. Soul is parented by R&B and gospel, these two genres both tie into Soul music. Soul keeps the R&B relation due to its link to physical desire in the lyrics of soul music. On the other hand Soul keeps the gospel relation due to its spiritual connection in the music. During the late 1950s and early 1960s due to the many struggles African american people faced, Soul music entered its prime during the civil rights movement.

The record labels who produced hit classics such as Motown, Atlantic, and Stax were pioneers in the civil rights era. Soul involved catchy rhythms, stressed by handclaps and body moves. Other characteristics of soul are a call and response between the lead vocalist and the chorus and an especially tense vocal sound. The style also occasionally uses improvisational additions, twirls and auxiliary sounds. The genre reflected the African-American identity and stressed the importance of an African-American culture. The new-found African-American consciousness led to new styles of music, which boasted pride in being black.

With the creation of soul music, there were also sub genres that were influenced by soul. For example Memphis Soul, Detroit (Motown) soul , and Neo-Soul all derived from the classic soul mix of gospel and blues. 

Memphis soul, which peaked in the 1970s was filled with glam as it featured Staxs records and produced singers like Al Green.

 Motown Soul, which was the forefront of hit makers made a stride in putting artists on the record boards. 

Motown soul (lead by Barry Gordy)  is gospel oriented with hard hitting bass lines, bells, and hand clapping. 

Neo-Soul is filled with a mixture of R&B, hip-hop, and 70s Soul. Some characteristics of Neo-Soul feature poetic lines, signing runs, and more techno beats versus real life instrumentation.

Example of soul music:

Marvin Gaye – Lets get it on

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