ETYM Latin spiritualis: cf. French spirituel. Related to Spirit.
1. Concerned with or affecting the spirit or soul; SYN. unearthly.
2. Lacking material body or form or substance.
Sinonimi: Negro spiritual
A kind of religious song originated by Blacks in the southern us; SYN. Negro spiritual.
Religious song developed by slaves in the us. The precursors of gospel music, spirituals were 18th- and 19th-century hymns joined to the old African pentatonic (five-note) scale. ‘Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen’ and ‘Deep River’ are examples. White folk hymns and religious ballads are also called spirituals.
The rhythms of work songs and the call and response of much African music, recreated in religious services, contributed to the development of spirituals and gospel. The songs often speak in biblical terms of release from bondage and the prospect of a better life in the hereafter. Spirituals were first brought to a wider audience in the 1870s as a fund-raising activity by southern black us universities, which sent out touring choirs called jubilee singers. In the early 20th century, the singer Paul Robeson recorded many spirituals.