Blues music was originally played only by blacks in America because most of them came from Africa. In the early 1900s, whites started playing blues music too. The name of these new type of songs was derived from the term “blackface”, which is similar to white makeup applied on black actors, singers and dancers. Here is what you need to know about Blues Music.
The word ‘blues’ derives from two southern words
Blue Ridge Mountains (which means high mountains) and blue (the color of their eyes). These were the first people to play blue notes on their guitars. Later, when musicians moved west, they brought this style of music with them.
5) Another type of blues music is rock, or just plain Rock n Roll. Many famous artists such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bruce Springsteen and AC/DC played this genre of music. Rock n Roll can be classified into several subgenres including Classic Rock, Punk Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Southern Rock and Country Rock.
6) There are different instruments used in blues. The guitar was once considered as the primary instrument in blues since it is cheap to buy and easy to learn how to use. But over time, other instruments like harmonica, bass, drums, piano, organ and even saxophone were included in blues compositions.
Blues is not a genre of music
Rather, it is a feeling or emotion that people experience when listening to certain types of music. For example, if someone listens to country music and then hears a song that sounds similar to a blues song, he would feel sad or depressed.
What makes blues popular
- a) The lyrics usually tell stories. You could say that blues lyrics are very personal.
- b) Blues also has a lot of energy.
- c) Blues music is usually slow.
- d) Blues also includes a great deal of rhythm.
- e) The sound quality is usually low.
- f) Some songs are sung in a very deep voice.
- g) Blues music is mostly played live.
- h) Blues music tends to last longer than other genres of music.
- i) It’s very hard to find a blues song on radio stations nowadays.
- j) People often sing along while listening to blues songs.
What makes blues different from other kinds of music?
- a) Blues music is more personal than other kinds of music.
- b) Blues music is mainly composed of four chords: C-G-Am-Fm. c) Blues music tends to be slow.
- d) Blues music is generally simple.
- e) Blues music is usually performed by soloists.
- f) Blues music contains strong vocals.
- g) The main theme of any blues song is sadness.
- h) Blues music uses an acoustic sound.
- i) Many blues songs are performed acoustically.
- j) Blues music is often accompanied by clapping hands.
- k) Blues music doesn’t contain much melody.
- l) Blues music may include a lot of silence.
- m) If you listen carefully, you will notice some similarities between blues pieces.
- n) Blues music is similar to gospel music.
- o) Blues music is a form of art.
- p) One important feature of blues music is its improvisation.
What do blues singers sing about?
- a) Blues singers sometimes speak about love and loneliness. They can sing about relationships, feelings, and emotions.
- b) In many blues songs, there is no definite beginning and end. This shows us that blues music does not have a specific structure.
- c) A blues singer might sing about a problem that she feels uncomfortable talking about. She can also talk about problems that affect her life.
- d) In some cases, blues singers try to make people understand difficult situations in their lives. This kind of singing helps listeners relate to their own experiences.
- e) Some blues singers may express how they feel about their hometown or state.
Which blues performer became the most famous one?
- a) Bessie Smith (1894–1937) is best known for being one of the first African American female performers who achieved success on the blues stage.
- b) BB King (born 1935) is an American guitarist and singer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest blues musicians of all time.
- c) Howling Wolf (1929–1976) is an American vocalist and musician whose career spanned five decades. He had a powerful, guttural baritone voice and distinctive style of playing the electric slide guitar.
- d) Robert Johnson (1911–1938) is best known for his recordings with guitar accompaniment. He was nicknamed “the father of the Delta Blues” because of his influence on later artists such as Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy.
- e) Little Walter (1920–1958) is considered to be one of the greatest soul blues guitar players ever. His influential recording “Smokestack Lightning” made him an international star.
- f) Big Mama Thornton (1927 – 1999) was born Maude Lucas. Her song “Hound Dog” is considered to be one the best rock & roll records ever recorded.
- g) Charley Patton (1891–1945) also known as “the Father of the Delta Blues“, was born Charles Edward Anderson III but he preferred to use his birth name. He is credited with introducing many innovations into blues music, including using the 12-bar blues format.
Blues music is a type of music which has lots of meaning. Just like there are many online gambling slots, there are different types of blues music. Some blues songs give us information about ourselves. Also we can learn something from listening to it.