Blues Music- Erin Alford

Image result for blues musicBy the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the term “blues” began to be applied to a new type of song emerging from Black communities in the southern United States. Blues as a genre is characterized by its lyrics, bass lines, and instrumentation. Blues music occurred in conjunction with significant new developments in black political life. The blues emerged in the decades surrounding the turn of the century.  Socially, Jim Crow laws and the institutionalization of racial segregation led to a time of the end of the American Dream, which once seemed attainable for Black Americans. Along with ragtime, jazz, and gospel music, Blues music originated as a part of a wave of innovation in Black American music. Typically blues songs were performed solo. Important performers include Ma Rainey, B.B. King, and W.C. Handy. Blues is a genre that has been embraced globally by different cultures and ethnicities. Following Radical Reconstruction, blues was disseminated across the country. Delta blues, one of the earliest styles of blues disappeared after the European invasion and resurfaced after WWII. The blues influenced several other genres including rock and roll and had the biggest push for numerous subgenres. With this commercialization, the essence of blues was lost. In addition to having its own history, the blues has played an important role in most other major popular musical genres. The blues anchored numerous jazz and country styles. Overall, early blues frequently took the form of a loose narrative, often relating the racial discrimination and other challenges experienced by African-Americans, and later served as an influencer for music genres worldwide.


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