- David Brackett
A black American popular music style. The term soul in black American parlance has connotations of black pride and culture, but its usage in conjunction with music has a complicated genealogy. Gospel groups in the 1940s and 50s occasionally used the term as part of their name, as in the Soul Stirrers. In turn, jazz that self-consciously used melodic figures or riffs derived from gospel music or folk blues came to be called soul jazz by the late 1950s. As singers and arrangers began using techniques from gospel music and soul jazz in black popular music during the 1960s, soul music gradually functioned as an umbrella term for the black popular music of the time, with gospel music in particular providing a rich foundation for the singing styles of many stars. In addition to its association with a cluster of musical practices, the ascendancy of the term is inextricably linked to the Civil Rights movement, and to the growth of black cultural and political nationalisms of the period....