More Information About Blues Music

by Powerhouse Museum Collection

A form of music as well as a musical genre,blues music is a unique combination of different kinds of music which have its roots embedded in the Afro American communities.The lyrics as well as the music primarily are associated with the feeling of melancholy and troubled state of mind. Initially,when the ‘blues’ movement started, the lyrics were simple and were about narrative of filed workers and their hardships or even sad ballads. But with the progression of time,things changed and the lyrics were more about mood swings,loneliness,pain of getting separated from the loved ones and even death.

Interesting tidbits:

The blues genre has many subgenres as well as certain characteristics of its own.Though an artist can use any instrument but the typical instruments used to create the effect of this music are guitar, double bass, piano, harmonica, trombone, trumpet and the saxophone. Other genres of music like the Bluegrass, rock and roll and jazz to name a few are said to be derivatives of this genre of music. The main characteristics of the Blues music are:


>> Precise and unambiguous lyrics of the song

>> Unique chord progressions

>> Bass lines

>> Use of specific instruments

There are many subgenres too such as the country blues,delta blues, Fife and drum blues,Boogie woogie, piano blue and many more. Blues-rock, Punk blues, African blues, and Soul blues are believed to be fusion genres of the original form of this music.

Regional scenes of the Blues movement:

The regional movement started when the original blues music was adapted and minor regional variations were introduced into the original form.This was not intentionally done but the infusion happened because of the strong influence of regional artists.Some of the regional overtones are:

>> British blues

>> Chicago blues

>> Piedmont blues

>> Memphis blue

>> Detroit blues

>> Kansas City blues

>> Canadian blues

>> Texas blues

>> West Coast blues among others.

Technicalities of this genre:

This type of music is technically defined as a form where the chord progression is cyclic in nature.It is a special trait of the Afro American form of music.During initial times,nothing much could be discerned from it but with the popularity of music, the chord progressions and the typical 12-bar lyrical composition of a true blue form of music became clearer.Of course,the 8-bar lyrical composition is also a form of this movement but the 12-bar became one of the most important traits to distinguish blues music.

Musical giants of the ‘Blues’ movement

This music has been extremely popular and has given us many great musical talents to admire and love their performances. A few prominent names are Ray Charles, Charlie Musselwhite, John Lee Hooker, Martin Scorsese, James Brown, Jimmy Vaughn, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, Eric Clapton, Bo Diddley, Steve Winwood, Jeff Baxter and Erykah Badu. These names are counted as stalwarts of the blues genre of music.

Listen to Blues Music from singer songwriters and find new and original blues music videos and songs. Find great blues music.

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