Jubilee Quartets were popular African American singing groups in America during the early 20th century. These groups were comprised of male or female singers that performed formal arrangements in close four-part harmony. These groups mainly sang a capella. Even though The Fisk Jubilee Singers inspired the Jubilee Quartet, they were not a Jubilee Quartets but a choir. Jubilee Quartets were famous in western culture. Many of these groups performed all over the United States and were even featured in movies and Tv shows among white actors. Despite having mainstream success, Jubilee Quartets aren’t given the recognition they deserve.
I believe Jubilee Quartets helped shape what music is today. The harmony and melodies they produced together are still used by many artists today. Artists will blend their voices over their prominent singing voices when creating music, much like how Jubilee Quartets would have a leading singer, and the rest of the group would harmonize and ad-lib off of them. These groups also helped impact bands/groups that came after them. The four-part band/group structure is famous today. There is usually a leading singer in these groups, and the rest play a secondary role in the song, which is very similar to Jubilee Quartets. Acapella groups also have been inspired by the jubilee Quartets. These groups, like Jubilee Quartets, use nothing but their voices and sometimes hands to make music. These groups, however, can consist of more than four people. Some groups have up to 10 people singing together. These groups perform all over the country and even compete in competitions across the world. In Tv shows and movies where quartets are mentioned, they are mainly referred to as Barbershop Quartets and consist of white men. With the impact that Jubilee Quartets have had on the music industry and society, they should be given more praise and recognition today. We should learn about them outside of music classes, especially when discussing the culture of the early 20th century.