Soul music is music inspired by a combination of gospel songs and jazz. It is a deep, heartfelt music that can reach all the way to your core. It comes in many different forms, but every type of soul music is based on a desire to say something meaningful. It has an interesting history which stretches back all the way to the days of slavery. While the music is religious in nature and is meant to promote Christianity, it is also appreciated for its quality as music by people who are not religious. Between the rich history of soul music and its continued evolution, it is a musical genre that is still appreciated today.
The very roots of soul music start back in the days of slavery when slaves would sing gospel songs while working in the fields. This helped them cope with their situation for a handful of reasons, and as such became very popular. After the abolition of slavery, the tradition of singing gospel songs in groups moved into the churches and became tradition as part of regular worship.
Singing gospel remained much the same for many years. It was mostly traditional hymns and saw little evolution until other forms of African American entertainment started gaining popularity as well. When blues and jazz started to take off, it opened the door to many forms of African American entertainment, and also encouraged people to take a second look at older forms as well.
Some of the singers started trying to combine the different forms of singing into a new style. This infusion of jazz and blues into traditional gospel music resulted in what we know as soul music. Thanks to the booming popularity of other forms of African American entertainment, soul music had an easy time getting off the ground, and then flourished thanks to some amazing singers.
The success of soul music is both due in part to the trend of social integration between black and white cultures and also furthered it. Because soul music is religious and sung in churches, it showed black culture in a light that was easy to accept for many people who were behind the times. It took advantage of the advancement of social equality and then worked to further the cause.
While there are countless soul singers that have contributed to the genre, there have been some that really stood out. These musicians singlehandedly advanced the genre and impacted the country as a whole.
Perhaps the single most impactful soul singer was Ray Charles. He started out in Los Angeles, although he performed all over the country. Ray Charles gained a lot of popularity because he was able to play the piano despite being blind and also put an amazing amount of his own soul into every song he wrote. Soul music gained a huge amount of popularity thanks to his talent.
Soul music comes in many different forms and has done a lot to advance cultural acceptance and ease racial tensions. It is an important and wonderful form of music.