Search amongst 2280915 Articles

Spiritual (Music)

African Slaves in the U.S.

£30.36 All prices include VAT Free delivery
Add to Cart Buy It Now Save for later


Spirituals (or Negro spirituals) are religious songs which were created by enslaved African people in America.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." The term spiritual song was often used in the black and white Christian community through the 19th century (and indeed much earlier), and spiritual was used as a noun to mean, according to the context, spiritual person or spiritual thing, but not specifically with regard to song. Negro spiritual first appears in print in the 1860s, where slaves are described as using spirituals for religious songs sung sitting or standing in place, and spiritual shouts for more dance-like music.


Editor: Klaas Apostol