Often asked: What Do Blues Songs Express?

What is the purpose of blues music?

Blues is an African-American music that traverses a wide range of emotions and musical styles. “Feeling blue” is expressed in songs whose verses lament injustice or express longing for a better life and lost loves, jobs, and money. But blues is also a raucous dance music that celebrates pleasure and success.

What did blues music help people express?

Blues music thus originated as a non-verbal language, as a necessity to express feelings of pain and grief, and in this way as a tool of (passive) resistance. It became an instrument of cultural affirmation among African- Americans, and more importantly, specifically made for African-Americans (Salaam 1995).

How do you describe blues music?

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 emotions does blues music evoke?

There are love songs. There are celebratory songs. Traditionally blues music has captured a wide range of emotions. Whole subgenres of the blues, like jump blues, evoke a feeling that is upbeat, cheerful, positive and even happy.

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Why is blues the devil’s music?

The origins of the blues are closely related to the religious music of Afro-American community, the spirituals. It was the low-down music played by rural blacks. Depending on the religious community a musician belonged to, it was more or less considered a sin to play this low-down music: blues was the devil’s music.

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 music influenced blues?

Almost every genre of popular music today has, in one way or another, been influenced by blues music. Jazz, rhythm & blues, gospel, country and rock ‘n’ roll (and all music that would later spawn from these genres) are just a few of the styles that owe much of their progression and style to blues music.

Why is the blues so powerful?

In the very best blues the pain changes, because of the music, into something light.” That lightness and ease come to be because the musical form given to those feelings—in both the organization of the words and the notes—shows the world has a structure that is logical and sensible, and makes for a good time!

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.

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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.

Who is the most famous blues singer?

The main source being The All Music Guide To The Blues (Miller Freeman Books).

  • The Top Ten.
  • Charley Patton (1887 – 1934)
  • Blind Blake (early 1890s – 1933)
  • Blind Lemon Jefferson (1897 – 1929)
  • Lonnie Johnson (1899 – 1970)
  • Louis Jordan (1908 -1975)
  • T-Bone Walker (1910 – 1975)
  • John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson (1914 -1948)

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.

What is the most popular form of blues?

The most common musical form of blues is the 12-bar blues. The term “12-bar” refers to the number of measures, or musical bars, used to express the theme of a typical blues song.

Is the blues music depressing?

The blues describes a musical form, as we have seen. Other blues are angry, moody, scary, frightened, and some are bouncy, joyous, exuberant, happy. Clearly, the blues is unusually rich in emotional expression. So, no, the blues is not sad music, and they do not tend to make us sad.

What emotion does the blues portray?

Because blue is favored by so many people, it is often viewed as a non-threatening color that can seem conservative and traditional. Blue calls to mind feelings of calmness or serenity. It is often described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly. Blue is often seen as a sign of stability and reliability.

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