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The Significance of the Blues in History

Powerful Essays
The blues is a musical genre that was created in the fields by slaves as a way of communication that was not understood by their master’s and overseers. Slaves sang about their misfortunes, the sadness and abuse they received on the plantations. This music would eventually evolve into lyrics that had a one line stance that would repeat four times. Blues were more of an emotion driven by long lost love, betrayal, adultery, and sadness. The blues progressed in the Mississippi Delta to New Orleans. It later progressed in the Midwest as African Americans moved north in search of better lives and opportunities. As the music evolved several different subgenres were created such as jazz-blues blends. The music went on to develop into rhythm and blues and rock n roll as we know it today. This paper will give you the introduction of how the blues came into existence and how it has evolved in African American history and the American culture.
History of the Blues
The blues music started as the key artistic expression of the African American culture. There are a couple of features that are common to all blues, because the origin of the blues takes its form and it's progression from the eccentricities of single performances. However, there are some features that were existent long before the creation of the modern blues. An early blues-like music was call-and-response shouts, which was a "functional expression... style without accompaniment or harmony and unbounded by the formality of any particular musical structure." A form of this pre-blues was heard in slave field shouts and hollers, expanded into "simple solo songs laden with emotional content"(Aces, 2013). The blues, as we know it today, can be seen as a musical style based on bot...

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...inform future generations of how we as Americans have moved forward and how the blues have assisted in getting us to where we are now.

Works Cited

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Blumenthal, Bob. "Berryland." Bluesland. Eds. Pete Welding and Toby Byron. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1991. 238-249
“Blues Music,”History of Blues. Web 23 March 2012. http://academic.scranton.edu/student/pendraks2/page 2.html.
Daniels, Douglas Henry. “The Significance of Blues for American History.” The Journal of Negro History, Volume 70, No. ½ (Winter-Spring, 1985): pp. 14-23. Web 23 March 2012.
Kopp, ED. “A Brief History of the Blues.” Web 16 August 2005. http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php

“That Rhythm…Those Blues." Dir. George T. Nierenberg. Prod. WGBH. Videocassette. PBS Video, Series: "The American Experience," 1988
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