Soul Music has its beginnings in Gospel and R&B of the 1940s and 1950s. They both had major influences on key soul singers including Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, just to name a couple.
The birthplace of Soul Music, to be quite honest is unknown. What is known? The United States inner cities, including Chicago, Detroit, Florence, Memphis, and New York, all created and produced their own soul music styles based on their demographics at the same time, thus making a “beautiful mixture“ of sound variety across the states for us all to enjoy.
In the 1970s, Hip Hop was born, which had a huge influence on the Soul Music that followed. New Jack Swing (aka Swing Beat), which combined Soul, Hip Hop, Gospel and Jazz, was absolutely rocking.
Disco and Funk Music also came to fruition in the 1970s, and started to decline in the early 1980s. Undoubtedly, Soul Music was now being influenced by Electro Music and Funk – it became known as Contemporary R&B which was, and still is, great!.
House and Techno rose to mainstream popularity in the late 1980s and remained popular in the 1990s and 2000s. Also starting in the 1980s, Soul Music from the United Kingdom became very popular – cheers mate!.
The development of Neo-Soul started around 1994. This was due to mainstream record label marketing support for soul genres diminishing in the 2000s, as the industry re-focused on Hip Hop – somewhat of a master stroke by the powers that be.
The many genres of Soul Music and R&B have reached a point, well before now of course, where they are now sub-divided into subgenres. To be side tracked, even though I have not mentioned it above, true Soul Music connoisseurs know that Rock and Roll was, literally, born from Soul Music and Rhythm and Blues….another day, another article.
Detroit (Motown) Soul Music
Strongly rhythmic and influenced by gospel music – includes hand clapping, a powerful bass line – called “dub“, Violins and Bells.
Deep Soul and Southern Soul Music
A driving, energetic soul style combining R&B’s energy with pulsating – down south, Gospel Music.
Memphis Soul Music
A shimmering, sultry style of soul music produced in the 1960s and 1970s – includes melancholic and melodic horns, organ, bass, and drums – truly remarkable.
New Orleans Soul Music
Directly came out of the R&B era – deep.
Chicago Soul Music
A light gospel-influenced sound – emotional.
Philadelphia Soul Music
AKA Philly Soul – Orchestral sound and “doo-wop” vocals.
Psychedelic Soul Music
A blend of psychedelic rock and soul music, which paved the way for funk music a few years later – yeah buddy!.
Blue-eyed Soul Music
Performed by white artists, it has evolved over decades and to a lesser extent, the term has been applied to singers in other music genres that are influenced by Soul Music – Kenny G is truly a great artist.
Neo Soul Music
A musical blend of 1970s soul-style vocals and instrumentation with contemporary R&B sounds, hip hop beats and poetic interludes – to chill out!.
Northern Soul and Modern Soul Music
Rare Soul Music that was played by DJs at nightclubs in northern England – includes obscure 1960s and early 1970s American soul recordings – It‘s the vibes that matter.
Nu-Jazz and soulful electronica Music
Various genres of electronic music such as House, Drum & Bass, UK Garage, and Down tempo – the fusion is “you are on one!”
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