Lets Talk About The Blues

Blues is a genre that has been embraced globally, by a staggering range of people from disparate cultures and ethnicities. Characterized for its soulful qualities, blues is arguably the most significant genre of music strictly because of its huge impact on all upcoming popular music genres and expressions like jazz, rock, country and so on.

Blues originated in the African American community. Although it originated in the black community, it still contains European and African elements. Examples of this include the European elements of form, harmony, and instrumentation and the African elements of using African instruments and specific rhythmic, tonal and timbral patterns. In addition to these elements, some key distinctive characteristics of the blues include blue texts, blue notes, blue forms, and instrument roles – emphasis on guitar solos – .

The blues could be considered as a part of the musical wave post slavery, and was used as a source of artistic expression and an escape from the struggles that blacks were facing during the time period. Example artists include Mamie Smith, Ida Cox, Sylvester Weaver, and Barbecue Bob.

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Although Blues became a genre that was embraced world wide from all kinds of people from various cultures and nationalities. This commercialization and popularization of the genre led to a lossage of the essence of the genre. Its historical and emotional context (black roots) were removed and no longer understood. This is demonstrated by various European bands and artists recreating and covering the original African American blues works, and not acknowledging the black creativity that was involved. Examples include groups like The Beatles and artists like Elvis; for example, Elvis Pressley stole the adlibs from Jezebel. For a world renowned genre, its sad that there is this false narrative on the influence of African Americans within the musical contributions of the blues.

jlangham

jlangham

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