If you enjoy soul music, this quiz will test your knowledge of its artists and songs. From classic soul from the 1950s and 60s to contemporary neo-soul, its questions will challenge your understanding of this genre.
Explore the music, lives and struggles of legendary soul artists such as Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye. By familiarizing yourself with performance techniques and lyrical devices used by these musicians, you will better grasp their deeper meanings within their work.
The 1970s witnessed an incredible surge of soul music that spoke directly to a generation seeking self-expression and social change. Drawing upon rich musical traditions like rhythm and blues, gospel, funk, soul music was defined by powerful vocal performances from artists like Al Green, Aretha Franklin and Isaac Hayes that brought their powerful vocal performances into popular culture – also spurred by African American history and civil rights movements during this era. Additionally Southern soul gained steam during this era due to African Americans becoming active participants in civil rights movements across the US South.
Soul continued its evolution as producers experimented with new sounds. Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff developed smooth soul in Philadelphia with its creamy sound of sweeping strings and pointed brass–this style would ultimately influence disco, and still sounds present today through Jill Scott’s Neo Soul work. Meanwhile in New Orleans Allen Toussaint championed boogie-woogie through rolling piano notes and honking sax.
As a result of these new trends, soul began to sound more sensuous – something perfectly demonstrated by Hayes’ 1977 record, Hot Buttered Soul. Considered an instant classic of sexy soul music, its success stems from an evolving black culture moving away from segregation towards self-acceptance and more open minded romantic relationships.
Although sexy soul was once considered an exotic phenomenon, soul music has always had an integral connection to African-American identity and experience. Many beloved ’70s hits still enjoyed today have their origins here; also shaping black identity by empowering women and showcasing powerful vocal talents; this genre helped form what would eventually become known as “sexy soul.” Due to this legacy, its influence can still be felt today among contemporary musicians and performers – so take our quiz and test yourself on its depth!
As the 1980s began, soul music started to diversify. Combining gospel vocal styles, R&B funk rhythms and urban beats created what became known as neo soul. Neo soul was especially popular with young black artists such as Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige and more to create an accessible style of soul that was commercial yet less experimental than previous styles; similarly Me’Shell NdegeOcello, Maxwell D’Angelo and Janelle Monae all produced albums that were more experimental or eclectic in nature than expected.
Philly Soul (or Philly Sound) became popular during the late ’80s, inspiring musicians such as Patti LaBelle and the Commodores. Produced by Thom Bell, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff – who worked with groups such as O’Jays, Intruders, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Delfonics and Stylistics among many others – this style had lush string and horn arrangements resembling doo-wop sounds.
Curtis Mayfield and James Brown led soul music toward funk music during this era. Funk features danceable beats with more political undertones than its earlier psychedelic predecessors like Motown or soul music; Parliament-Funkadelic, The Meters, Earth Wind & Fire were pioneering this style.
In the 1980s, slow soul and quiet storm soul saw their debuts. Slow soul had a more relaxed and gentler style that took influences from fusion and adult contemporary, and many funk bands would include slow soul tracks on their albums. Meanwhile, quiet storm soul was more soulful but more subdued than slow soul.
Soul music’s influence has persisted through time, shaping and informing modern musical styles in numerous ways. From direct emotional delivery, black pride, and respecting its artistic roots to its widespread acceptance. At some point or another soul music was adopted into disco, funk, and hip hop genres; all hailing its evergreen popularity as their origin point.
The 1960s marked the debut and the peak years for soul music as an identifiable genre, as its artists from Motown (Four Tops, Temptations, Supremes, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder), Stax (Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding Carla Thomas Sam & Dave) and Atlantic (Aretha Franklin and Solomon Burke) all found great success – while James Brown pioneered funk while Archie Bell & the Drells showcased what would later become Philadelphia soul.
Soul music evolved throughout the ’60s to represent African American culture at large, speaking directly to young people of African descent while providing an audio backdrop for civil rights activism, Black Power movements and newfound pride in being black. Soul was an amalgam of gospel, rhythm and blues and funk styles and featured catchy rhythms accented with handclaps, call and response vocal sounds, and additional sounds such as twirls or improvisational additions that used catchy handclap rhythms that featured catchy catchy rhythms like handclaps for call and response vocal sounds and additional sounds such as twirls or improvisations for example.
Northern soul music originated as part of British mod subculture in Northern England and the Midlands, featuring obscure 1960s and 70s American recordings with an uptempo beat that were played at nightclubs by DJs. It quickly became a hit among black youth in Britain.
As contemporary R&B styles began to emerge in the 80s and 90s, artists like Loose Ends, Sade, Mint Condition Prince Jamiroquai Sharon Jones Dap-Kings D’Angelo took an innovative approach by creating what came to be known as Neo Soul; an amalgamation of elements such as traditional soul funk jazz pop R&B neo soul.
As the new millennium approached, neo-soul faded in popularity; however, certain contemporary artists such as Maxwell, Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill continued making soulful music. Drawing inspiration from their elders for more creative arrangements of classic soul songs. Understanding that soul music had not passed into history but had rather transformed into other forms of musical genres; we will examine some of these other genres to see how their foundation is related to that of soul music in this quiz.
The decade of the 2000s brought new soul music that continues to influence popular music today. R&B artists such as SZA, Lucky Daye and Ari Lennox keep this style of soul music alive today through modern production techniques while keeping its essence.
Neo-soul was one of the primary forces behind this revival, merging 1970s soul music styles with contemporary R&B and hip-hop influences to form an immersive, jazzy sound characterized by R&B beats with poetic interludes.
This era of soul also featured artists like Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, and Michael Jackson. Many hits from this era were produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff; their team had an enormous effect on Philadelphia soul music development, leading it toward its current form as “Philadelphia soul”.
Though soul music gradually evolved into multiple subgenres, its influence remained as a distinct musical style that helped form how black Americans understood themselves as individuals. The ’70s witnessed its progression toward funk music through bands like James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic; artists such as Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield released album-length statements with deep social messages during this era.
White artists also contributed significantly to the evolution of soul music during this era by performing classic tracks like “I Want to Hold You Close” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”. This style became known as blue-eyed soul and remains popular in the UK where it is commonly known as Northern soul.
Kedar Massenburg introduced a fresh approach to soul music with the creation of neo-soul in the ’00s, using synthesizers, drum machines and other electronic instruments rather than traditional instrumentation such as drums or percussion; yet still maintaining an organic feel through inclusion of drums, percussion, Fender Rhodes/Wurlitzer electric pianos/B-3 organs/Trumpets/Trophones/Saxophones etc. Additionally it often incorporates poetic interludes inspired by hip-hop poetry making this style immensely popular both domestically and internationally.