The Heart of Black America: The Blues

Blues. The heart and soul of black America. Blues music originated in the deep south and the midwest in small, rural towns and cities with large populations of black bodies such as New Orleans. Blues music stemmed from the Jim Crow Law era and the resistance . The blues is considered the most contained style of black music that has appeared throughout history. It is also the music from which most of our modern music, such as Rock n Roll.


Blues music is generally sung by men. Blues music has been sung generally in solos, duets and quartets. The second voice that appears in blues music after the primary voice is generally the sound of one, or more, instruments. Some of the instruments that can be heard in Blues music include harmonicas and pianos. For that reason, instruments are key for this style of music. Some styles that stemmed from Blues where instrument were the main influence are jump blues, boogie-woogie and soul.


Some of the most famous artists in the history of Blues are B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Bessie Smith and Jimi Hendrix. B.B. King who is considered the most famous of these artists is B.B. King, who is known as the “King of Blues.” The height of Blues music came in the late 1940’s through the 1950s.  As with every black musical form, it was over taken by white artists such as Elvis Presley and The Rolling Stones.


I believe that Blues is a musical art form that truly captures the struggles and essence of Black America.  Blues is undeniably black regardless of its appropriation by white artists.

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