|Derivative forms||Blues, Gospel music|
Spiritual as a noun is used to denote songs created by American slaves, and the style in which they were sung. A work song is typically a Rhythmic A cappella Song sung by people working on a physical and often repetitive task A hymn is a type of Song, usually religious specifically written for the purpose of praise adoration or Prayer, and typically addressed to a deity/deities The Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of Music based on the use of the Blue notes It emerged as an accessible form of self-expression Gospel music is Music that is written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life as well as (in terms of the varying music styles to Slavery in the United States began soon after English colonists first settled Virginia in 1607 and lasted until the passage of the Thirteenth The term is often broadened to include subsequent arrangements into more standard American hymnodic styles, and to include post-emancipation songs with stylistic similarities to the original spirituals.
Most Negro spiritual melodies can be played on the Pentatonic scale. A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five pitches per Octave in contrast to an heptatonic (seven note scale such as the Major scale
The term spiritual is derived from spiritual song. The King James Bible's translation of Ephesians V. 19 is: "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. " Negro spiritual first appears in print in the 1860's, where slaves are described as using the noun "spiritual"for religious songs sung sitting or standing in place, and spiritual shouts for more dance-like music.
Although numerous rhythmically and sonic elements of spirituals can be traced to African sources, nonetheless it is a fact that spirituals are a musical form that is indigenous and specific to the religious experience in the United States of Africans transported from Africa. They are a result of the interaction of African religious elements with music and religion derived from Europe. Further, this interaction occurred only in the United States. Africans converted to Christianity in other parts of the world, even in the Caribbean and Latin American, did not evolve this form. The Caribbean (ˌkærəˡbiən kæ'rəbiən Cariben|Caraïben or Caraïben; Caraïbe or more commonly Antilles; Caribe is a Region consisting 
Negro spirituals were primarily expressions of religious faith. They may also have served as socio-political protests veiled as assimilation to white American culture. They were originated by enslaved African-Americans in the United States. Slavery in the United States began soon after English colonists first settled Virginia in 1607 and lasted until the passage of the Thirteenth The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Slavery was introduced to the British colonies in the early seventeenth century, and enslaved people largely replaced indentured servants as an economic labor force during the 17th century. As a social-economic system slavery is a legal institution under which a Person (called "a slave" is compelled to work for another An indentured servant is a form of Debt bondage worker The Laborer is under Contract of an Employer for some period of time usually three to As a means of recording the passage of Time, the 17th Century was that Century which lasted from 1601 - 1700 in the Gregorian calendar These people would remain in bondage for the entire 18th century and much of the 19th century. The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar, in accordance with the Anno Domini / Common Era numbering system The 19th century of the Common Era began on January 1, 1801 and ended on December 31, 1900, according to the Gregorian calendar Most were not fully emancipated until the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit Slavery, and with limited exceptions such as those
During slavery in the United States, there were systematic efforts to de-Africanize the captive Black workforce. Enslaved people were forbidden from speaking their native languages.
Restrictions were placed on the religious expression of slaves. Rows of benches in places of worship discouraged congregants from spontaneously jumping to their feet and dancing. The use of musical instruments of any kind often was forbidden, and slaves were ordered to desist from the "paganism" of the practice of spiritual possession. Nonetheless, the Christian principles that teach those who suffer on earth hold a special place with God in heaven undoubtedly spoke to the enslaved who saw this as hope and could certainly relate to the suffering of Jesus. For this reason many slaves genuinely embraced Christianity.
Because they were unable to express themselves freely in ways that were spiritually meaningful to them, enslaved Africans often held secret religious services. During these “bush meetings,” worshippers were free to engage in African religious rituals such as spiritual possession, speaking in tongues and shuffling in counterclockwise ring shouts to communal shouts and chants. Spirit possession is a concept of Paranormal, Supernatural and/or Superstitious belief in which spirits, gods, daemons A shout or ring shout is an ecstatic dance ritual first practiced by African slaves in the West Indies and the United States, in which worshippers move It was there also that enslaved Africans further crafted the impromptu musical expression of field songs into the so-called "line singing" and intricate, multi-part harmonies of struggle and overcoming, faith, forbearance and hope that have come to be known as "Black Spirituals. "
While slaveowners used Christianity to teach enslaved Africans to be long-suffering, forgiving and obedient to their masters, as practiced by the enslaved, it became something of a liberation theology. Liberation theology is a school of Theology within Christianity, particularly in the Roman Catholic The story of Moses and The Exodus of the "children of Israel" and the idea of an Old Testament God who struck down the enemies of His "chosen people" resonated deeply with the enslaved ("He's a battleaxe in time of war and a shelter in a time of storm"). Moses ( Latin: Moyses,; Greek: grc Mωυσής in both the Septuagint and the New Testament; Arabic: ar موسىٰ The Exodus ( is the term used for the escape departure and emancipation of the enslaved Israelites freed from Ancient Egypt as described in the Hebrew PLEASE TAKE NOTE************ In Western Christianity, the Old Testament refers to the books that form the first of the two-part Christian Biblical canon. God is the principal or sole Deity in Religions and other belief systems that worship one deity. In Black hands and hearts, Christian theology became an instrument of liberation. Theology is the study of a god or the gods from a religious perspective
So, too, in many instances did the spirituals themselves. Spirituals sometimes provided comfort and eased the boredom of daily tasks, but above all, they were an expression of spiritual devotion and a yearning for freedom from bondage. Songs like "Steal Away (to Jesus)", or "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" raised unexpectedly in a dusty field, or sung softly in the dark of night, possibly signalled that the coast was clear and the time to escape had come. "Steal Away" ( "Steal Away To Jesus") is an American Negro spiritual. Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC / BCE —26–36 AD / CE) " Swing Low Sweet Chariot " is an American Negro spiritual. The River Jordan became the Ohio River, or the Mississippi, or another body of water that had to be crossed on the journey to freedom. Many internet sources and popular books claim that songs such as “Wade in the Water” contained explicit instructions to fugitive slaves on how to avoid capture and the route to take to successfully make their way to freedom. " Wade in the Water " ( Roud 5439 is the name of a Negro spiritual first published in New Jubilee Songs as Sung by the Fisk Jubilee Singers (1901  This particular song allegedly recommends leaving dry land and taking to the water as a strategy to throw pursuing bloodhounds off one's trail. “The Gospel Train” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” are equally supposed to contain veiled references to the Underground Railroad, and many sources assert that Follow the Drinking Gourd contained a coded map to the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and Safe houses used by 19th century Black slaves in the United States The Drinkin' Gourd is another name for the Big Dipper asterism. The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and Safe houses used by 19th century Black slaves in the United States These claims, as popular as they are, do not hold up to reasoned and informed inquiry; for example, the sources provide no firsthand evidence of the use of coded songs or distort the firsthand accounts that are available (e. g. Frederick Douglass) in order to support their claims.   (see Songs of the underground railroad)
In the 1850s, Reverend Alexander Reid, superintendent of the Spencer Academy in the old Choctaw Nation, hired some enslaved Africans from the Indians for some work around the school. Songs of the Underground Railroad is an Urban legend dating from the later twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first He heard two of them, "Uncle Wallace" and "Aunt Minerva" Willis, singing religious songs they had composed. Uncle Wallace Willis (sometimes Wallis Willis) was a Choctaw Freedman living in the Indian Territory. Among these songs were Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Steal Away to Jesus, The Angels are Coming, I'm a Rolling, and Roll Jordan Roll. Later, Reid, who left Indian Territory at the beginning of the Civil War, attended a musical program put on by a group of Negro singers from Fisk University. Although they were singing mostly popular music of the day, Reid thought the songs he remembered from his time in the Choctaw Nation would be appropriate. He and his wife transcribed the songs of the Willises as they remembered them and sent them to Fisk University. The Jubilee Singers put on their first performance singing the old captives' songs at a religious conference in 1871. The Fisk Jubilee Singers are a group of African American singers first organized in 1871. The songs were first published in 1872 in a book titled Jubilee Songs as Sung by the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University, by Thomas F. Steward. Later these religious songs became known as "Black spirituals" to distinguish this music from the spiritual music of other peoples. Wallace Willis died in 1883 or 84.
Over time the pieces the Jubilee Singers performed came to be arranged and performed by trained musicians. In 1873, Mark Twain, whose father had owned slaves, found Fisk singing to be "in the genuine old way" he remembered from childhood, but an 1881 performance review said that "they have lost the wild rhythms, the barbarity, the passion. Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30 1835 – April 21 1910 better known by the Pen name Mark Twain, was an American Humorist, satirist " Fifty years on, Zora Neale Hurston in her 1938 book The Sanctified Church criticized Fisk singers, and similar groups at Tuskegee and Hampton, as using a "Glee Club style" that was "full of musicians' tricks" not to be found in the original spirituals, urging readers to visit an "unfashionable Negro church" to experience real spirituals. Zora Neale Hurston ( January 7, 1891 &ndash January 28, 1960) was an American folklorist and author during the time
A second important early collection of lyrics is Slave Songs of the United States by William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison (1867).
A group of lyrics to "Negro spirituals" was published by Col. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, who served as the commander of a regiment of former slaves in the Civil War, in an article in The Atlantic Monthly and subsequently included in his 1869 memoir Army Life in a Black Regiment (1869). Thomas Wentworth Higginson ( December 22, 1823 &ndash May 9, 1911) was an American minister Author, Abolitionist 
Musicologist George Pullen Jackson extended the term to a wider range of folk hymnody, as in his 1938 book White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands, but this does not appear to have been widespread usage previously. George Pullen Jackson (1874-1953 was an American educator and Musicologist. "Spiritual song" was often used in the white Christian community through the 19th century (and indeed much earlier), but not "spiritual. "