Bessie Smith's Blues Music Analysis

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Bessie Smith has had a strong influence in blues music, calling her “the empress of the blues”. Smith’s strong and rich voice was stunning and full of soul. Smith’s vocal range was powerful, even though she appears to be a contralto. The technical proficiencies of Smith’s vocal sound appear to be controlled and clear. Smith’s voice filled the room, hitting one’s ears smoothly and was powerfully inviting. When comparing the voice of Bessie Smith to Alberta Hunter’s, in particular “Sugar”, both ladies had strong and powerful voices. However, Smith’s smooth voice is opposite that of Hunters. Hunter’s voice was gritty, yet supple. Hunter’s vocal range appears to be a soprano, given the high notes Hunter was able to achieve. When comparing these …show more content…
Though the styles of Smith and Hunter were not similar to that of Winehouse, one is able to see that the music itself was still trying to portray deep emotions, whatever they may be. As with all music, the emotion portrayed in these artists’ music was deep and heavy. The vocal sound though different was similar in numerous ways. For instance, all three artist exhibited a simple and smooth polyrhythmic sound. Their voices were able to float above the beat of the music. Furthermore, I am no longer able to hear the three-line structure that was so apparent in Smiths and Hunters lyrics. The simple act of expressing one’s self in music is still portrayed today in most music. The “Queens of the Blues” have strongly influenced many genres of music and only continue to inspire music today. Many artist of today are continuously influenced by the music of the “Queens of the Blues”. In “mainstream” music, blues music may not be the most popular. However, the influence of the “Queens of Blues” and blues itself have absorbed themselves into numerous genres of the twentieth century. Given that these ladies were powerful and influential singers itself is highly influential to numerous artists today. Furthermore, the “alleged” homosexuality that was portrayed through music, especially today is highly influential and political. As discussed in class, these ladies, in this case Smith, discussed her homosexuality through her music, a controversial subject. Nevertheless, controversial or not these issues were addressed, some more than others, and that is something that should always continue to be influenced and portrayed through

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