灵魂乐（Soul Music），是1950年代发源自美国，它结合了黑人福音音乐（Gospel Music）、节奏蓝调（R&B）和爵士（Jazz）等音乐流派。灵魂乐通过节奏蓝调的加入让传统福音音乐其更加世俗化。它有鲜明的节奏、拍掌、即兴肢体动作。此外，独唱与伴唱之间的对唱、紧绷的发声技巧I也是其主要特色。早期灵魂乐的代表作是雷·查尔斯演唱的《I Got a Woman》。
整个60年代后期，灵魂乐开始颓废，像Rascals,the Box Tops,Mitch Ryder,Tony Joe White和Roy Head乐队受到一系列的重创。
70年代时，灵魂乐继续发展，如霍尔与奥兹、Robert Palmer、Average White Band、Boz Scaggs，和大卫·鲍伊等乐队的推进，使演奏风格更加现代化。
Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. It combined elements of African American gospel music, rhythm and blues, and often jazz. Soul music became popular for dancing and listening in the United States – where music such as that of the Motown, Atlantic and Stax labels was influential during the period of the civil rights movement – and across the world, directly influencing rock music and the music of Africa.
According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying."Catchy rhythms, stressed by handclaps and extemporaneous body moves, are an important feature of soul music. Other characteristics are a call and response between the soloist and the chorus, and an especially tense vocal sound. The style also occasionally uses improvisational additions, twirls and auxiliary sounds.