Music : The Blues And Ragtime Essay

833 Words Oct 14th, 2015 4 Pages
Considered the pioneer of Anglo-African music and the basis of jazz, the Blues and Ragtime can be traced back to the late nineteenth century, originating in the Mississippi Valley. Distinguished from other musical styles with its strong 4/4 rhythms and twelve-bar structure, the Blues were created by the amalgamation of American folk songs and hymns intertwined with an African beat. Often, the Blues outline the woeful tales of hopeless, unsuccessful people. Forming as an alternative to the Blues in the early 1890s, Ragtime focuses primarily on syncopation and, unlike the Blues, tries to uplift the listener with its infectious tune. Despite their differences, both the Blues and Ragtime helped transform the listening culture of America by exposing the public to an unheard genre of music which left lasting and profound effects that can still be felt today. With the Blues, one really needs to be in tune with their own soul and have some serious life experiences in order to appreciate that type of music. The actual structure of the style of music makes one value it even more. Mechanically, the blues operates on a 4/4 rhythm and a twelve-bar pattern, divided equally into three four-measure phrases. Also, the Blues melodic style focuses mostly on the vocals than the instrumental aspect. In addition, the Blues scale is located in the key of C and the lowered third and seventh scale steps are usually referred to as the “blue notes”. A large portion of Blues music is improvised using…

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