Black + Blues

Blues music is a music genre that originated in the Deep South in the early 20th century by African Americans Following the civil war.

Blues incorporates musical Elements developed from negro spirituals Like field hollers, ragtime, work, Songs, south, chants, and simple narrative ballots.

In the early 1900s, bandleader W.C. Handy composed “Memphis Blues” which became very popular and ignited the blues scene. Amongst the African American population, there were strong desires to change the musical stylings currently practiced, such as spirituals, as they were identified with slavery.

In 1939, Hattie Ellis released “Desert Blues,” a song embodying the Blues’ definition of sadness and longing for love to provide a general idea of what blues sounded like. More musical instruments became available in the late 19th century and early 20th century, such as the upright piano, sparking an interest in ragtime dance accompanied by this new music style.

Blues is categorized into various styles and subgenres, including Delta Blues, Piedmont Blues, and Chicago Blues. After World War II, electric Blues and Blues-rock developed. Traditional country Blues describes the Blues of the Mississippi delta and surrounding areas. Chicago Blues is the electric field version of Delta Blues. Cool Blues is another popular variation of the Blues genre using a piano-based musical styling similar to jazz.

Artists like Little Richard, Ray Charles, BB King, and Bessie Smith played a vital role in the advancement of the Blues genre. Their unapologetic stage presence and use of soul, gospel and jazz elements broke the stylistic barriers of music, integrating different genres into one.

The adaptation of blues brought secular concepts to the forefront of music. Blues shifted the landscape of music from sacred to secular.

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