Overcoming the Blues

The blues is a music genre that expresses many emotions and communicates genuine emotion. The blues originated on Southern plantations during the 19th Century. During 1903, W.C Handy, African American leader of a dance orchestra, was the on to discover blues music. While waiting for a train in Mississippi, a man next to him was singing a song using a knife to slide it against the strings of a guitar. The man repeating the phrase three times and used his instrument tot respond; like a call and response. The music was the blues, although thought wasn’t a thought back then. During the 1920s and 30s, there were musicians recording from Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, and other Southern states. The music can be related to African American slave songs. This music captures the struggle and overcoming the obstacles along the way during a time there were many discriminating actions occurring. The blues is a music genre that was used to speak of everyday life struggles of agriculture workers, field-workers, and regular people expressing everyday life feelings. Most people during the time blues came up, were religious and went to church from an early age. This is how they were exposed to old hymns, and the feeling.

Handy was the first to publish sheet music for a blues song “Memphis Blues.” Most blues music is 12 bars (measures). A few blues pioneers are Son House, Leadbelly, and Charlie Patton. These men and others would usually perform solo with just a guitar. The blues originated in Mississippi and began migrating to Chicago, Detroit, and Memphis. Artists like Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon played music similar to Mississippi Delta blues, having a guitar, bass, and drums with songs. B.B King invented the concept of lead guitar, which is used in Rock n Roll music. There are many blues musicians but only a few are able to write, publish, or record their songs. An example of someone like that is Blind Melon Jefferson, started recording in 1926. Other popular musicians are B.B King, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, and Robert Johnson.



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