Often asked: Blues What Is It?

How do you define blues?

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. The emotion expressed is generally one of sadness or melancholy, often due to problems in love.

What is a blues song?

Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. Blues as a genre is also characterized by its lyrics, bass lines, and instrumentation. Early traditional blues verses consisted of a single line repeated four times.

What are the 3 characteristics of blues music?

Harmony and tonality

  • the harmony is predominately related to the tonic, subdominant and dominant.
  • minor 7th chords and other chord extensions are heard.
  • dissonant harmonies are a common feature.

What does performing the blues mean?

Central to the idea of blues performance is the concept that, by performing or listening to the blues, one is able to overcome sadness and lose the blues …. Blues remains with us in contemporary American culture, and as a traditional musical form it has been subjected to countless revivals and reinterpretations.

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Why are the blues important?

The social significance of Blues music resides in the revolutionary element of African Americans creating their own aesthetics. Blues music represented the opposing voice that refused to be silenced by oppression and segregation. The Blues expressed this with unprecedented clarity, honesty and simplicity.

How does blues make you feel?

“The blues style represents… a saying of things that are very painful, deep and poignant, with a feeling of ease. In the very best blues the pain changes, because of the music, into something light.” At its best, the blues is a oneness of pain and pleasure, defeat and exaltation, sadness and joy.

Who are the famous blues musicians?

  • BIG BILL BROONZY (Lee Conley Bradley; 1903 – 1958)
  • SON HOUSE (Eddie James “Son” House, Jr.; 1902 –1988)
  • BLIND WILLIE McTELL (William Samuel McTier; 1898 –1959)
  • MAMIE SMITH (née Robinson; 1891 – 1946)
  • ARTHUR “BIG BOY” CRUDUP (Arthur William Crudup; 1905 –1974)
  • SKIP JAMES (Nehemiah Curtis “Skip” James; 1902 –1969)

What are the main features of blues music?

What is blues music?

  • Blues is both a musical form and a musical genre.
  • The main features of blues include: specific chord progressions, a walking bass, call and response, dissonant harmonies, syncopation, melisma and flattened ‘blue’ notes.

Why are blues songs sad?

Why is ‘ blues music ‘ linked to sadness? – Quora. It’s simple because blues music has its roots in work/slave songs and also gospel songs. Blues is a form of music that developed from a group of people that went through som very difficult times and that shows in how it feels.

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Why is it called blues music?

The name of this great American music probably originated with the 17th-century English expression “the blue devils,” for the intense visual hallucinations that can accompany severe alcohol withdrawal. Shortened over time to “the blues,” it came to mean a state of agitation or depression.

Why is the Blues called the devil’s music?

Not sure much the Blues but it’s reinvention through early rock and roll Like Elvis and Chuck Barry etc… People referred to this as the Devil’s Music because it was widely believed, at the time, that it caused teens of the day to indulge in sinful activities like premarital sex and drugs.

What instruments were used in early blues?

The combination of instruments used in early blues music included the clarinet, drum, guitar, piano, trombone, and trumpet.

Is Blues and Jazz the same?

Blues is derived from Bluegrass, Jazz, R&B, and Rock. Jazz comes from Calypso, Funk, Soul, and Swing. It’s important to know that Blues was around before Jazz; thus, Blues can be considered an element of Jazz music. Jazz is from New Orleans, while Blues is from Mississippi.

What kind of scale is used in blues?

The blues scale is a six-note progression that sounds right at home in blues, rock, and country music. This scale is essentially the pentatonic scale plus one chromatic note, often called the blue note.

What paved the way for blues music?

It was developed by African-Americans who blended European music with African music. The combination of those cultures and sub-cultures created what would become the blues. Early precursors that paved the way for blues music include work songs, field hollers, spirituals, folk ballads, and minstrels.

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