By: Aryanna Lawson

Origin

The blues originated around the 1890o’s in the deep parts of the south and the midwest. The blues started on Southern Plantations by slaves,  ex-slaves, and then the descendants of slaves. Like ragtime, gospel, jazz, and the quartets were all really popular genre at the time. The blues were also very prevalent during a time when many other achievements within the Black community were being created. 

Characteristics

  Like many genres of music, The Blues was also inspired by negro spirituals, and musicians who sang the blues were often expressing their struggle within their lifetime. The blues originated in the Deep south around the 1870’s, a time when African American were still being heavily oppressed. Many musician’s lyrics were associated with depression and misery, but not all. Some musicians were more sexual and humorous than others. One of the main instruments used in the blues was guitars and pianos, and their melody would sometimes consist of a call-response type of song. 

Social Implications 

The Blues was popularized during a time in America when segregation and Jim Crow were still at heights and Blacks were labeled as lazy, ignorant, and carefree but we all know that this was another lie implicated onto blacks by society. Many musicians combated these false ideologies of blacks through there music and performances, but their main support came from other African Americans. 

Performers

Bessie Smith was a female blues singer, who was very popular in the 1920s and 1930s. She was Nicknamed the Empress of Blues and influenced many other musicians during her time. Below is a link to one of her most popular songs named a good man is hard to find. 

Another very legendary Blues artist was Robert Johnson. There is a short documentary on Netflix, about Robert Johnson, called Re-Mastered Devil at The CrossRoads. This documentary goes into depth about Robert Johnson and his life and his journey as a blues Musicians. For years, many people believed that Johnson sold his soul to the Devil in order to become the great guitarist and musician he was. Johnson was still a great musician, but his success ended too soon. Johnson was murdered at the age of 27 through poison. 

 

Another very legendary Blues artist was Robert Johnson. There is a short documentary on Netflix, about Robert Johnson, called Re-Mastered Devil at The CrossRoads. This documentary goes into depth about Robert Johnson and his life and his journey as a blues Musicians. For years, many people believed that Johnson sold his soul to the Devil in order to become the great guitarist and musician he was. Johnson was still a great musician, but his success ended too soon. Johnson was murdered at the age of 27 through poison. 

                                                       Influences

The Blues inspired many artists and genres such as Jazz, R&B, and gospel. 

                                             Conclusion

Overall, the Blues expressed and reflected on many African American lives during this time, giving them away to sing about their struggles. The black community supported many of these black musicians simply because they to understand how they felt. 

 

Like many genres of music, The Blues was also inspired by negro spirituals, and musicians who sang the blues were often expressing their struggle within their lifetime. The blues originated in the Deep south around the 1870s, a time when African American were still being heavily oppressed. Many musician’s lyrics were associated with depression and misery, but not all. Some musicians were more sexual and humorous than others. One of the main instruments used in the blues was guitars and pianos, and their melody would sometimes consist of an call response type of song. The Blues industry was dominated mainly by men, but there were some Great African American women blues singers as well. Overall, the Blues genre of music that expresses our depression and sorrows, but through a melodic way. 

 

Aryanna Lawson

Aryanna Lawson

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