Curious? Read Some Quick Blues Music History
This is just a fun subject in music! Increase your music knowledge so you can brag to your friends. You’ll be amazed when you discover the trends and blues music history which rocked a nation – literally!
What is Blues Music?
Truth is, blues is probably the purest American music ever produced. And, along with its jazz counterpart, is the only true American music form. I know you thought it was bluegrass!
Its beginnings lie in the work songs of West African slaves in the South. When they toiled hard in the fields of South plantation owners, these slaves built a ‘call and response’ method of singing, thus lending rhythm to the drudgery of their lives.
These came to be called ‘field hollers’ and became the basis of all blues music to follow. After the Civil War ended, the blacks could either work as field labor or become traveling minstrels.
So quite a few ended up being the latter – performing at all-nighters, fish-frys and juke joints, relying on their stamina and mental repertoire of many blues songs.
Singing Tip! Be able to modulate: You will be able to, with a few quick moves of the fingers, move your music into a new key with a succession of notes so pleasing to the ear it will bring a smile to your listeners faces.
Powerful Blues Music Is Officially Born
While the lyrics of blues songs seem soulful and sad, the music itself is quite powerful and emotive – filled with rhythm and celebrating the life of black Americans.
What makes this kind of music appealing is its reflection of their daily lives, talking about sex, drinking, poverty, love lost, hard labor – anything they experienced.
When Was Blues Music Officially Started?
Among the first documented blues is W C Handy’s “Memphis Blues” in 1909.
The music grew in popularity and when the 78-RPM phonograph came in the late 1920’s Paramount, Aristocrat and other record labels recorded some of the famous country blues artists.
Around 1941-1943, field recordings of blues men were made in their surroundings by famous blues folklorist Alan Lomax. This is significant because that’s how the white folks got introduced to the blues.
Budding artists got exposure to some national record labels.
Music Industry Tip! Real music management agencies will never, ever ask you for money up front. Managers make commission on their clients’ earnings, and experienced managers understand that an unknown artist doesn’t have much money.
Blues Music Travels North
The African Americans migrated North during the Great Depression along the route of the Illinois Central Railroad toward Chicago, bringing with them blues music.
With huge crowds gathering to enjoy this, performers like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf switched to electric guitars and also included drum sets to their bands.
This became even more powerful than the original blues.
There was a lull until the late 1950’s when The Kingston Trio recorded the chart topper, Tom Dooley, and gave birth to the folk revival in 1958. The Newport Folk Festival then brought back folk and blues music to the white American people till 1966.
What followed later was a merging of blues with rock – forming the rock blues bands of the 1960s and 1970s. Some artists faithful to the form were
- The Rolling Stones
- John Mayall
- Led Zeppelin.
Music Tip! Buy a quality instrument. I learned to play on a cheap guitar and believe me, it’s not easy learning on an instrument that does not stay in tune or is difficult to chord.
Types of Blues Music
The style was a call and response lyrical framing. Then we have the Chicago Blues, which used electric amplification of voice using mics, drum sets and electric guitars.
The Texas Blues are similar to the Chicago blues. In the early 1960s originated the Blues-rock, which was directly influenced by the Delta and Chicago blues. Want to hear some blues music to get yourself in tune? Check out these great blues numbers here..
About the Author: Werner Wichmann – electricguitarz.com
Filed under: Strickly Music