What is soul music

Soul music - funk and soul - black music

Soul story and styles


The history of soul began in the 1940s. Famous and popular big bands and harmony groups mixed elements of different musical styles, such as swing, bebop, blues and gospel, and created a completely new popular music for the African-American population of the American cities. Jazz and blues greats such as John Lee Hoker or Ella Fitzgerald managed the balancing act between commercially successful popular music and the traditional origins of Afro-American culture.

Slowly but surely, two predominant musical styles crystallized out of this mixing and reshaping: on the one hand the rhythmic, lively and up-beat emphasized R'n'B and on the other hand the soulful, slow soul. It was not until the 1960s that a so-called soul wave hit African-American society, a development that was closely linked to the emergence of civil rights groups around Martin Luther King. Unlike the superficial R'n'B, the emotional soul was able to propagate new values ​​and moral concepts such as the relationship between man and woman and the emerging emancipation.


Different styles of the newly created soul music emerged regionally. Most noticeable was the difference between southern southern soul and the more commercially oriented northern soul. While Southern Soul made the unvarnished reality and the great suffering of the black population its theme, the musicians around the Detroit music label Motown concentrated above all on the popularity of their productions and in this way achieved great sales successes in the short term, surprisingly especially among the white population .

Even if soul has now taken a backseat alongside other new styles of music, it still shapes the musical landscape of pop culture today and is considered the most important movement in Afro-American music.