Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
n. A genre of music that originated in black American gospel singing, is closely related to rhythm and blues, and is characterized by intensity of feeling, and earthiness
Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the United States in the late 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 in the civil rights era. Soul also became popular around the world, directly influencing rock music and the music of Africa.
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". 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. 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.
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. 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.
Soul Music is the sixteenth Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett, first published in 1994. Like many of Pratchett's novels it introduces an element of modern society into the magical and vaguely late medieval, early modern world of the Discworld, in this case Rock and Roll music and stardom, with near disastrous consequences. It also introduces Susan Sto Helit, daughter of Mort and Ysabell and granddaughter of Death.
Soul music may refer to one of the following:
- Soul music, a musical genre, closely related to rhythm and blues, which grew out of the African-American gospel and blues traditions during the late 1950s and early 1960s in the United States
- Soul Music (novel), the title of a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
- Soul Music (TV series), animated TV Series based on the novel by Terry Pratchett
- Soul Music (album), the title of Dru Hill band member Woody Rock's 2002 gospel album
Soul Music is a seven-part animated television adaptation of the 1994 book of the same name by Terry Pratchett, produced by Channel 4 Television Corporation/Cosgrove Hall Films/ITEL/Ventureworld Films and distributed by Channel 4 Television Corporation (1996) (UK) (TV) & Vision Video (2001) (UK) (DVD). It was first broadcast on 12 May 1997 and released on DVD in 2001 alongside Wyrd Sisters in a box set entitled "Soul Music". The feature-length miniseries was developed by Acorn Media, and directed by Jean Flynn. It was the first film adaptation of an entire Discworld novel (following the Welcome to the Discworld short, which was based on a fragment of the novel Reaper Man). The series soundtrack was also released on CD, but the disc is now out of production. The soundtrack is, however, now available through iTunes. Editz did the title sequences, Flix Facilities did the digital picture editing, and Hullabaloo Studios did the audio post-production.
Usage examples of "soul music".
I talk to Dan about rock music, while Steve stares at somebody getting lucky on the fruit machine, and I talk to Steve about soul music, while Dan does that trick with a beer mat which only the truly irritating person knows.
Russell detested everything about this country (they didn't even appreciate good soul music!
It was always the old school soul music he played, music that is full of profound melancholy and wild exuberance, music that was the sound of young America thirty years ago.
He tried to sort his CDs into alphabetical order, but gave up when he discovered they already were in alphabetical order, as was his bookcase, and his collection of Soul Music.