Monday, September 20, 2010
-Blues: 1st type to be recorded was classic blues—maybe the first style; white record
executives knew it would be marketable to blacks:
-Race Records: Recordings made for black consumption, couldn’t hear on the
-Classic Blues: Women vocalists, same instrumentation as jazz bands (horns,
piano, bass, drums)
-Bessie Smith: black blues vocalist: “St. Louis Blues” part of a movie—dressed
up in fancy clothes
Music 1013 Notes for 9/22/2010
Topic of the essay: No essay due Friday (reminder). E-mail explanation of the essay to come in the future. Remember, the essay is optional!
Muddy Waters -- famous blues singer.
Interesting -- a number of the major blues singers did not use their real names. Compared to rap and hip-hop. Some other direct
comparisons between past and present.
has two meanings: Style of music, but also a musical form (or sequence of events). Most music that we call “the blues” utilizes
both meanings of the word.
: New Orleans origins, both performed by African American musicians.
is improvised, carries lots of
classical harmonies and form, contains a lot of “Africanisms” -- ideas about sound.
rhythms are shared between both styles also. The
two-beat or the four-beat are the standard metric patterns for both styles and encourage the
-- the heavy emphasis on 2 (and 4, in a four-
Even with all the similarities, note that blues is a separate style from jazz.
**Bessie Smith video revisited at this point in class** -- Smith’s
singing is clearly blues and not jazz.
12-bar blues is primary form. Blues organized in 4/4 time, four beats per bar. Every 12 bars the music changes. AAB form -- one
line, then that line repeated, then a new line of text. Three lines divided into four measures (remember, another word for bar) per line. The
chords played change every four measures -- I(one), then IV, then V, as Dr. Lubet played in class. First four bars (A line of text): I. Second
four bars (A line of text again): Two bars of IV, two bars of I. Last four bars change more often:
Total 12-bar then becomes: I -- IV - I -- V-IV-I-I. Put another way using AAB form: A is I(one). A(repeat) is half IV and half I. B is V-
Call and response a big idea in the 12-bar blues. “A” is the call, the second “A” is the response, and the “B” is a response to the first two
“A”s. The band and choir also respond to the leader (Smith in the video). B.B. King does call and response himself.
Louis Armstrong example: “West End Blues”
Swing rhythms in blues and jazz have the beat divided unevenly (more to come on Friday). Rock music divides the beat evenly.
To finish out class, a Jimi Hendrix video played. See everyone on Friday!