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spiritual

spiritual, a religious folk song of American origin, particularly associated with African-American Protestants of the southern United States. The African-American spiritual, characterized by syncopation, polyrhythmic structure, and the pentatonic scale of five whole tones, is, above all, a deeply emotional song. The words are most often related to biblical passages, but the predominant effect is of patient, profound melancholy. The spiritual is directly related to the sorrow songs that were the source material of the blues (see jazz), and a number of more joyous spirituals influenced the content of gospel songs (see gospel music).

Beginning in the late 19th cent., when a celebrated chorus from Fisk Univ. traveled throughout the United States and abroad, wide attention was given to the spirituals of American blacks. This body of song was long thought to be the only original folk music of the United States, and research into its origin centered mainly on the nature and extent of its African ancestry. Because slaves were brought to the United States from many parts of Africa, no single African musical source is clear. Elements that African music and American black spirituals have in common include syncopation, polyrhythmic structure, the pentatonic scale, and a responsive rendition of text. Audience participation increased the improvisatory nature of the spirituals, with the result that tens and even hundreds of versions of a single text idea exist.

Early in the 20th cent., Cecil Sharp explored the extent of American folk-song literature, much of which he demonstrated to be of British ancestry. After that discovery, G. P. Jackson traced the considerable influence of revivalist and evangelist songs from the early 19th-century camp meetings of the Southern white population. Jackson claimed, using hundreds of comparative examples, that many black spirituals were adapted from or inspired by these white spirituals. African musical traditions were apparently amalgamated with the religious songs of the white South, which had many sources, to produce a form of folk music that was distinctly black in character.

Collections and arrangements of spirituals have been made by R. Johnson and J. W. Johnson, R. N. Dett, G. L. White, J. A. Lomax and A. Lomax, R. Hayes, and others. See also G. P. Jackson, White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands (1933) and Spiritual Folk-Songs of Early America (1937); G. P. Jackson, White and Negro Spirituals (1943); L. Jones, Blues People (1963); J. Cone, The Spirituals and the Blues (1980).

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"spiritual." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"spiritual." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/spiritual

"spiritual." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/spiritual

spiritual

spir·it·u·al / ˈspirichoōəl/ • adj. 1. of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things: I'm responsible for his spiritual welfare the spiritual values of life. ∎  (of a person) not concerned with material values or pursuits. 2. of or relating to religion or religious belief: Iran's spiritual leader. • n. (also Negro spiritual) a religious song of a kind associated with black Christians of the southern U.S., and thought to derive from the combination of European hymns and African musical elements by black slaves. PHRASES: one's spiritual home a place in which one feels a profound sense of belonging: I had always thought of Italy as my spiritual home.DERIVATIVES: spir·it·u·al·i·ty / ˌspirichoōˈalitē/ n. spir·it·u·al·ly adv.

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"spiritual." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"spiritual." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spiritual-0

"spiritual." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spiritual-0

spiritual

spiritual. Folk-hymn which developed during Amer. religious revival of c.1740 and took its name from ‘spiritual song’, the term by which publishers distinguished it from hymns and metrical psalms. Negroes attended revivalist meetings and their characteristic adaptations of spirituals became the religious folk-songs of the Amer. Negro, e.g. Swing low, sweet chariot, Go down Moses, Deep River, etc. Became prominent c.1871 in concerts by Fisk Jubilee Singers, but even better known in 20th cent. through singing of Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson. Dvořák was deeply touched by Negro spirituals, though their influence on his Amer. works is arguable; and Tippett used some very effectively as chorales in his oratorio A Child of Our Time.

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"spiritual." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"spiritual." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spiritual

"spiritual." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved October 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spiritual

Spiritual

Spiritual. A type of American folk hymn of the 18th–19th cent. ‘White’ spirituals appeared on the American frontier, in the forms of religious ballads and camp-meeting choruses, characterized by repetitions and refrains. ‘Black’ spirituals, the religious songs of slaves, are better known, partly on account of their musical idiom, and partly because of the intensity of feeling.

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"Spiritual." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Spiritual." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spiritual

"Spiritual." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved October 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spiritual

spiritual

spiritualdenial, dial, espial, Lyall, mistrial, myall, Niall, phial, trial, vial, viol •sundial •knawel, withdrawal •avowal, Baden-Powell, bowel, disembowel, dowel, Howell, Powell, rowel, towel, trowel, vowel •semivowel •bestowal, koel, Lowell, Noel •loyal, royal, viceroyal •accrual, construal, crewel, cruel, dual, duel, fuel, gruel, jewel, newel, renewal, reviewal •eschewal •artefactual (US artifactual), contractual, factual, tactual •perpetual •aspectual, effectual, intellectual •conceptual, perceptual •contextual, textual •habitual, ritual •conflictual • instinctual • spiritual •mutual • punctual • virtual • casual •audio-visual, televisual, visual •usual • gradual • individual •menstrual • actual •asexual, bisexual, heterosexual, homosexual, psychosexual, sexual, transsexual, unisexual •accentual, conventual, eventual •Samuel •annual, biannual, Emanuel, Emmanuel, manual •Lemuel •consensual, sensual •continual

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"spiritual." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"spiritual." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spiritual

"spiritual." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved October 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spiritual