The Blues


The blues originated in the 19thcentury around the 1890s. The blues was created by African Americans who wanted to express themselves through music. The blues has deep roots in African American history. The inventors were slaves, ex-slaves, and African- American sharecroppers. Some of the blues originates off of spirituals in spirituals the slave told the story of their lives. In the blues African Americans are still telling their story and how hurt they feel about it. The blues grew up in the Mississippi Delta upriver from New Orleans.


Most blues music is comprised of 12 bars or measures. A specific series of notes is also utilized in the blues. The individual parts of this scale are known as the blue notes. When the country blues moved to the cities and other locales, it took on various regional characteristics. Some different type of blues includes the Jump blues, Boogie-woogie, Chicago blues, Cool Blues, West Blues, and Texas Blues. Chicago had bluesmen such as John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. They were the first to electrify the blues and add drums and piano in the late 1940s. The Texas blues, Memphis blues, and St. Louis blues consist of a wide variety of subgenres. Louisiana blues is characterized by a swampy guitar or harmonica sound with lots of echo, while Kansas City blues is jazz oriented.

Social Implication:

Artist wrote songs based on how they were feeling. For example, if some artist were struggling to pay their rent they would express this in their music. Some of these struggles that famous blues artist would sing about was relatable to other black folks of that time. The blues became more of a therapeutic thing.

Important Performers:

Son House, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Leadbelly, Charlie Patton and Robert Johnson usually performed solo with just a guitar. Occasionally they teamed up with one or more fellow bluesmen to perform in the plantation camps, rural juke joints, and rambling shacks of the Deep South. Blues bands may have evolved from early jazz bands, gospel choirs and jug bands.

Influence of Future Genres: 

The blues invigorated American popular music with African musical techniques and values and rock and roll and jazz were born. Country blues evolved into the classic blues of the 1920s and 1930s, sung by stars like Bessie Smith. It made legends of plantation workers like Son House and Charlie Patton.


The Blues was heard on the radio and records. Race records were sound recordings of the early 20thcentury that were made exclusively for African Americans. Race records began to gain popularity.

Conclusory Opinions: 

The Blues consisted of catchy songs that would get the audiences attention. The songs were made to get artist through there tough struggles they were facing. Although the artist spoke upon real issues that may be depressing the beat that went with the songs made people dance. In conclusion the Blues branched off from spirituals in terms of storytelling only that it is secular.

What's your password?

Login to your account

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.