Essay On Blues Music

504 Words 3 Pages
The Blues have been around for a long time. In fact, “the blues flourished from African American folk music, such as work songs, spirituals, and the field hollers of slaves” (Music Pg. 357). The exact time frame in which blues music originated is unknown. However, during the 1980s blues music was gaining popularity in rural areas of the south. Blues music speaks to the soul and heart. During a period in time where African Americans were physically and systematically oppressed, the Blues gave people hope, a way of grieving or expressing pain. The blues speak out to me, you could literally feel the artist’s pain in blues music. As a result, I choose this genre of music, because it truly intrigues me.
Furthermore, “blues music gain popularity through the publication of Memphis Blues in 1912 and St Louis Blues 1914 by W.C. Handy (1873-1958)” (Music Pg. 357). As a matter of fact, blues music became increasingly popular during 1920s among African Americans. During this period musicians who played the Blues sold millions of records. One of these artists was Bessie Smith (1894-1937), she was known as the Empress of blues music, she was considered the most popular blues singer of her time. On the other hand,
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“The first line is sung and the repeated to roughly the same melodic phrase (a a’); the third line has a different melodic phrase and text (b)” (Music Pg.358). In fact, a blues stanza is only 12 bars in length. “This harmonic pattern, known as the 12 bar blues, involves only three basic chords: tonic (I), subdominant (IV), and dominant (V)” (Music Pg. 358). In addition, blues singers often utilize bent notes and vocal scoops and slides in their performance. “Their melodies both composed and improvised contains many blue notes, which are produced by slightly lowering or flattening the third, fifth and seventh tones of a major scale” (Music

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