Each genre includes a complex of subdivisions and is associated with a specific cultural function, social context, and historical period. Despite these distinguishing factors, the various genres exist as part of a musical continuum of African origin. The secular and sacred forms share musical features, demonstrating that the two spheres are complementary rather than oppositional.
You lose your job, you get the blues. Your mate falls out of love with you, you get the blues. Your dog dies, you get the blues. While blues lyrics often deal with personal adversity, the music itself goes far beyond self-pity. The blues is also about overcoming hard luck, saying what you feel, ridding yourself of frustration, letting your hair down, and simply having fun.
The best blues is visceral, cathartic, and starkly emotional. From unbridled joy to deep sadness, no form of music communicates more genuine emotion. The blues has deep roots in American history, particularly African-American history. The blues originated on Southern plantations in the 19th Century.
It's generally accepted that the music evolved from African spirituals, African chants, work songs, field hollers, rural fife and drum music, revivalist hymns, and country dance music.
The blues grew up in the Mississippi Delta just upriver from New Orleansthe birthplace of jazz. Blues and jazz have always influenced each other, and they still interact in countless ways today.
Unlike jazz, the blues didn't spread out significantly from the South to the Midwest until the s and '40s. Once the Delta blues made their way up the Mississippi to urban areas, the music evolved into electrified Chicago blues, other regional blues styles, and various jazz-blues hybrids.
A decade or so later the blues gave birth to rhythm 'n blues and rock 'n roll.
No single person invented the blues, but many people claimed to have discovered the genre. For instance, minstrel show bandleader W. Handy insisted that the blues were revealed to him in by an itinerant street guitarist at a train station in Tutwiler, Mississippi.
During the middle to late s, the Deep South was home to hundreds of seminal bluesmen who helped to shape the music.
Unfortunately, much of this original music followed these sharecroppers to their graves. But the legacy of these earliest blues pioneers can still be heard in s and '30s recordings from Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia and other Southern states. This music is not very far removed from the field hollers and work songs of the slaves and sharecroppers.
Many of the earliest blues musicians incorporated the blues into a wider repertoire that included traditional folk songs, vaudeville music, and minstrel tunes. Without getting too technical, most blues music is comprised of 12 bars or measures.
A specific series of notes is also utilized in the blues.
The individual parts of this scale are known as the blue notes. Occasionally they teamed up with one or more fellow bluesmen to perform in the plantation camps, rural juke joints, and rambling shacks of the Deep South. Blues bands may have evolved from early jazz bands, gospel choirs and jug bands.
Jug band music was popular in the South until the s. Early jug bands variously featured jugs, guitars, mandolins, banjos, kazoos, stringed basses, harmonicas, fiddles, washboards and other everyday appliances converted into crude instruments.
Louis blues, the Memphis blues, the Louisiana blues, etc. Chicago bluesmen such as John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters were the first to electrify the blues and add drums and piano in the late s.
Today there are many different shades of the blues. A general term that describes the rural blues of the Mississippi Delta, the Piedmont and other rural locales; Jump blues: Jump blues was pioneered by Louis Jordan; Boogie-woogie:Music in the United States The African-American music tradition comprises many different genres and forms, including spirituals, work songs, blues, gospel music, jazz, and popular music.
Each genre includes a complex of subdivisions and is associated with a specific cultural function, social context, and historical period. Despite these . The country blues is the music of day to day life. It is the lonely music of lounging on the front porch, the rowdy music of the house party, and the raucous and engaging music of the concert stage.
The lyrics deal with the African American experience and the hardships of work, life, and love in the American South, and themes of travel. The Blues they played wasn’t always melancholy: much of it was lively and up-tempo, matching the atmosphere of the clubs and dance halls musicians played in.
It was a great outlet for the plantation and factory workers around .
The best blues is visceral, cathartic, and starkly emotional. From unbridled joy to deep sadness, no form of music communicates more genuine emotion.
|Wandering Songsters||Bibliography Historical Background To appreciate the diversity of ideas and experiences that have shaped our history, we need to be sensitive to the complexities and varieties of cultural documentation, to the enormous possibilities these documents afford us to get at the interior of American lives, to get at peoples long excluded from the American experience, many of them losers in their own time, outlaws, rebels who - individually or collectively - tried to flesh out and give meaning to abstract notions of liberty, equality and freedom.|
|A Brief History of the Blues||Form Although instrumental accompaniment is almost universal in the blues, the blues is essentially a vocal form. Blues songs are lyrical rather than narrative; blues singers are expressing feelings rather than telling stories.|
|African roots[ edit ] There are few characteristics common to all blues, as the genre takes its shape from the peculiarities of each individual performance.|
|Origins of the blues The first publication of blues sheet music may have been "I Got the Blues", published by New Orleans musician Antonio Maggio in and described as "the earliest published composition known to link the condition of having the blues to the musical form that would become popularly known as 'the blues.|
The blues has deep roots in American history, particularly African-American history. The blues originated on Southern plantations in the 19th Century. The history of the blues and the origin of the blues is really an evolution of the blues from the unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of African-American slaves and rural blacks into a wide variety of styles and subgenres, with regional variations .
Eddie Durham records the first music featuring the electric guitar. The modern instrument, first developed by musician George Beauchamp and engineer Adolph Rickenbacher in the early s, will help to transform the sound of the blues.