The Church House and The Ring Shout

Negro Spirituals are the oldest songs that people of color still sing today. These songs were the  motivation and expression in times of need for the black community. Many of the negro spirituals are still sung today especially in churches. 

Black churches sing Negro Spirituals but they also sing other songs using a technique called ring shout.

Ring shouting is when everyone gets together and a leader begins shouting out things while the rest of the people respond with simple lines and hand clapping while performing a religious dance while moving in a counterclockwise circle. The church does this a lot in today’s society especially Pentecostal churches. There a songs such as “Power Lord”, “I’m A Soldier”, and “Battlefield” that provide evidence of this very technique being used during church services as praise and worship. Majority of black churches’ praise and worship songs consist of this technique.

Church music evolved from Negro Spirituals and Negro Hymns. Negro Spirituals used a technique called ring shout that church music and churches still use today. Some of the most known old church music includes ring shouting. Without Negro Spirituals and ring shouting, I doubt that church music would ever be the same.

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