The blues was the music of this impoverished black

This preview shows page 4 - 5 out of 6 pages.

The blues was the music of this impoverished black workforce, and it provided a dynamic, flexible framework for publicly recounting aspects of individuals experiences The earliest blues appear to have been influenced by various types of African American folk music that already existed in the late 19 th century The basic features of a classic blues form are: 1. A twelve-bar structure made up of three phrases of four bars each with 2. A basic three-chord pattern and 3. A three-line AAB text The rural blues that provided the inspiration for classic blues songs displayed a much wider range of forms: there are eight-bar and sixteen-bar country blues; a rural blues singer may drop or add a couple of beats in order to better express himself, resulting in 11.5 or 12.5 bar forms; and some blues use more than three chords, while others are based on a repeated rhythmic-melodic pattern (a riff) and do not really use chords at all In the early 20 th century the blues was an entirely oral tradition in which versions of a song were passed down from generation to generation, learned by ear and carried by memory The Tin Pan Alley way of making music depended on writing songs down in a standardized form Thus, the neat and tidy form of classic blues songs is in part a byproduct of the process of musical notation, which tends to create a standardized and authoritative version of any particular pop song Later in the 1920s, when rural blues artists began to be recorded, certain melodies, lines of text, and styles of performance were spread on phonograph records, helping not only create a nationwide audience for the blues but also establish shared ideals of authentic “deep blues” sound Charley Patton: One of the earliest known pioneers of the Mississippi Delta blues style was Charley Patton Patton was a charismatic figure whose performance techniques included rapping on the body of his guitar and throwing it into the air – his powerful raspy voice and danceable rhythms/broad range of style His recorded repertoire included not only blues but also African American ballads, ragtime, Tin Pan Alley hits, and even church songs The popularity of blues performers and blues recordings in rural black communities throughout the South stemmed from the genres ability to explore the shared concerns of African Americans – unlike European derived ballads, where stories were usually presented in a narrative fashion – blues songs more frequently resemble a series of evocative snapshots, assembled around a theme or set of themes: lost love, sexual desire, work, violence, loneliness Blind Lemon Jefferson: The First Country Blues Star: The first recording star of the country blues was the Texan Blind Lemon Jefferson – adopted the typical life of a traveling street musician by the age of 14, wandering form place to place, performing for whoever would listen and living on handouts

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture