Soul music

Soul music (often referred to simply as soul) is a popular music genre that originated in the African American community in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. It combines elements of African-American gospel music, rhythm and blues and jazz. Soul music became popular for dancing and listening in the United States, where record labels such as Motown, Atlantic and Stax were influential during the Civil Rights Movement. Soul also became popular around the world, directly influencing rock music and the music of Africa.[1]

According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying".[2] Catchy rhythms, stressed by handclaps and extemporaneous body moves, are an important feature of soul music. Other characteristics 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.[3] Soul music reflected the African-American identity and it 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.[4]

Soul music dominated the U.S. R&B chart in the 1960s, and many recordings crossed over into the pop charts in the U.S., Britain and elsewhere. By 1968, the soul music genre had begun to splinter. Some soul artists developed funk music, while other singers and groups developed slicker, more sophisticated, and in some cases more politically conscious varieties.[5] By the early 1970s, soul music had been influenced by psychedelic rock and other genres, leading to psychedelic soul. The United States saw the development of neo soul around 1994. There are also several other subgenres and offshoots of soul music.

The key subgenres of soul include the Detroit (Motown) style, a rhythmic music influenced by gospel; deep soul and southern soul, driving, energetic soul styles combining R&B with southern gospel music sounds; Memphis soul, a shimmering, sultry style; New Orleans soul, which came out of the rhythm and blues style; Chicago soul, a lighter gospel-influenced sound; Philadelphia soul, a lush orchestral sound with doo-wop-inspired vocals; psychedelic soul, a blend of psychedelic rock and soul music; as well as categories such as blue-eyed soul, which is soul music performed by white artists; British soul; and Northern soul, rare soul music played by DJs at nightclubs in Northern England.


Ray Charles pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s by combining blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles

Soul music has its roots in traditional African-American gospel music and rhythm and blues and as the hybridization of their respective religious and secular styles – in both lyrical content and instrumentation – that began in the 1950s. The term "soul" had been used among African-American musicians to emphasize the feeling of being an African-American in the United States.[6] According to musicologist Barry Hansen,[7]

Though this hybrid produced a clutch of hits in the R&B market in the early 1950s, only the most adventurous white fans felt its impact at the time; the rest had to wait for the coming of soul music in the 1960s to feel the rush of rock and roll sung gospel-style.

James Brown was known as the "Godfather of Soul"[8]

According to AllMusic, "[s]oul music was the result of the urbanization and commercialization of rhythm and blues in the '60s."[9] The phrase "soul music" itself, referring to gospel-style music with secular lyrics, was first attested in 1961.[10] The term "soul" in African-American parlance has connotations of African-American pride and culture. Gospel groups in the 1940s and '50s occasionally used the term as part of their names. The jazz style that originated from gospel became known as soul jazz. As singers and arrangers began using techniques from both gospel and soul jazz in African-American popular music during the 1960s, soul music gradually functioned as an umbrella term for the African-American popular music at the time.[11][12]

Sam Cooke is acknowledged as one of soul music's "forefathers".

Important innovators whose recordings in the 1950s contributed to the emergence of soul music included Clyde McPhatter, Hank Ballard, and Etta James.[7] Ray Charles is often cited as popularizing the soul music genre with his series of hits, starting with 1954's "I Got a Woman".[13] Singer Bobby Womack said, "Ray was the genius. He turned the world onto soul music."[5] Charles was open in acknowledging the influence of Pilgrim Travelers vocalist Jesse Whitaker on his singing style.

Little Richard, who inspired Otis Redding,[14] and James Brown both were equally influential. Brown was nicknamed the "Godfather of Soul Music",[8] and Richard proclaimed himself as the "King of Rockin' and Rollin', Rhythm and Blues Soulin'", because his music embodied elements of all three, and since he inspired artists in all three genres.[15]

Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson also are often acknowledged as soul forefathers.[5][16] Cooke became popular as the lead singer of the gospel group The Soul Stirrers, before controversially moving into secular music. His recording of "You Send Me" in 1957 launched a successful pop music career. Furthermore, his 1962 recording of "Bring It On Home To Me" has been described as "perhaps the first record to define the soul experience".[17] Jackie Wilson, a contemporary of both Cooke and James Brown, also achieved crossover success, especially with his 1957 hit "Reet Petite". He even was particularly influential for his dramatic delivery and performances.[18]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Soul
العربية: موسيقى السول
asturianu: Soul
azərbaycanca: Soul
Bân-lâm-gú: Lêng-hûn im-ga̍k
български: Соул
Boarisch: Soul
català: Soul
čeština: Soul (hudba)
dansk: Soul
Deutsch: Soul
Ελληνικά: Σόουλ
español: Soul
Esperanto: Soulo
euskara: Soul
français: Musique soul
Gaeilge: Anamcheol
galego: Soul
한국어: 솔 음악
հայերեն: Սոուլ
hrvatski: Soul
Ido: Soul
Bahasa Indonesia: Musik soul
íslenska: Sálartónlist
italiano: Soul
ქართული: სოული
kurdî: Soul
latviešu: Soulmūzika
lietuvių: Soul muzika
Limburgs: Soul
lumbaart: Soul
magyar: Soul
Nāhuatl: Soul
Nederlands: Soul
norsk: Soulmusikk
norsk nynorsk: Soul
پنجابی: سول موسیقی
polski: Soul
português: Soul
qırımtatarca: Soul
română: Muzică soul
русский: Соул
Simple English: Soul music
slovenčina: Soul (hudba)
slovenščina: Soul
српски / srpski: Соул
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Soul
svenska: Soulmusik
Tagalog: Musikang Soul
Türkçe: Soul
українська: Соул
Tiếng Việt: Soul
Yorùbá: Orin Soul
中文: 靈魂樂