Blues Music History Summary & AnalysisThe Big Picture: Who, What, When, Where & (Especially) WhyThe blues emerged from a black cultural melting pot in the American South of the 1890s, drawing on a rich mix of African-American spirituals, traditional songs, European hymns, folk ballads, work songs and hollers, and contemporary dance music. By the 1910s (when the first recorded blues were published as sheet music), the blues had taken the form widely recognized today: 12 bars, AAB lyrical structure, and a distinctive scale with the third and seventh notes flatted.Blues came into its own as an important part of the country's relatively new national popular culture in the 1920s with the recording, first, of the great female classic blues singers and, then, of the country folk blues singers of the Mississippi Delta, the Piedmont of the Carolinas, and Texas. As huge numbers of African Americans left the South (driven by dismal socio-economic conditions and the hope of a better life above the Mason-Dixon line) between 1915 and the
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