Blues by linxiaoqin


The effects and history of an African American pastime…
        General description
• American Blues
          o Originated in colonies of former African American slaves
          o Based upon spirituals, field hollers and chants often
          heard on plantations.

• Characteristics
          o Used to convey emotions and often used “call and response”
          o Often about personal woe, a lost love, the cruelty of police
          officers, oppression at the hands of white folk.
          o An early form of blues known as "gut-bucket" blues is named
          after a homemade bass instrument made from a metal bucket
          used to clean pig intestines for chitterlings, a dish associated
          with slavery.
• Musical Style
          o 12 bar blues became standard in the 1930’s, later 8 and 16
          o based the pentatonic scale and a prominent form of the
          minor penetonic scale
               Evolution of Blues
Busy with ragtime, American sheet music publishers wasted no time in pursuing

similar commercial success with the blues   …
• W.C. Handy

       • In 1912 transcribed and then orchestrate blues in a symphonic style,
       with bands and singers-exposed to a white crowd.
       • Father of the Blues
• After WWII

       • In the 1950’s urbanization and amplification technologies led to new
       styles and audiences
       • In the 1960’s African American music like soul and Rock were
       exposed to large white audiences and popularized by white
                   Musical Impact
From the batman theme song to a beatles tune, blues has affected popular music in a
big way…

 • After WWII Blues and Jazz led to Bebop and rock, shaping both white
 collared music and baby boomer rock.
 • White musicians adopted rock/blues style but with clean lyrics
 • An example is “hound dog” which adopted both the structure and
 harmonics of blues.
                              Blues clips
•    Performed by Leadbelly, a folk singer and guitarist; this Southern Appalachian song
     dates to the 1870s

    • Janis Joplin's try shows the evolution of blues and its changing message

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