Voices That Carried On

History of Negro Spirituals

  • Spirituals were religious songs made by African Americans during slavery whereas hymns were loosely based on biblical scripture
  •  The Great Awakening, a period of religious revival that swept around the colonies in the 18th century, led to the birth of negro spirituals

In the South, slaves would meet in secret because it was illegal, at the time, for them to gather without white supervision. Therefore, they would carefully meet in ravines, fields, or slave living quarters

Like folk music, negro spirituals used call and response: a lead begins a line which is followed by a choral response (often sung to fast, rhythmic tempos)

Slave dialect used in Spirituals

  •  Heaven – Heav’n, Heb’n, Heb’m 
  • Children – Chillun, Chil’n, Childun
  • For – fer
  • The – de
  • Jubilee – Juberlee
  • Religion – ‘ligion
  • my – ma, m’
  • and – ‘n’, an’
  • there – dere
  • more – mo’
  • get – git

Negro spirituals brought about arranged singing for choirs

Ring Shout: a form of folk spiritual characterized by leader-chorus antiphonal singing, hand clapping, which incorporates highly stylized religious dance as participants move in a counterclockwise circle

Sources: Negro Spiritual powerpoint and https://spirituals-database.com/the-negro-spiritual/

Feeling Jazzy?

What is Jazz? Jazz is a unique music style that originated in the African American communities of New Orleans. Jazz is a blend of blues,

Read More »

The Love of Blues

The Making of Blues Blues is a musical genre created by African American people for African American people meant to express a wide range of

Read More »

Dive into Ragtime

Brief History of Ragtime Ragtime was around but the name came along much later. The name was given to the style of music towards the

Read More »

Mary J. Blige: Queen of Hip-Hop R&B

Bibliography Macpherson, Alex. “Mary J Blige on Drugs, Abusive Relationships and Self-Hatred.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 1 Feb. 2008, www.theguardian.com/music/2008/feb/01/urban.  “Mary J. Blige.”

Read More »

What's your password?

Login to your account

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.