15 Facts About Blues


Blues is a music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans from roots in African-American work songs and spirituals.

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Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads.

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Blues has since evolved from unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of slaves into a wide variety of styles and subgenres.

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Blues was a free-born black woman from Pennsylvania who was working as a schoolteacher in South Carolina, instructing both slaves and freedmen, and wrote that she "came home with the blues" because she felt lonesome and pitied herself.

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Blues overcame her depression and later noted a number of songs, such as "Poor Rosy", that were popular among the slaves.

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Blues form is a cyclic musical form in which a repeating progression of chords mirrors the call and response scheme commonly found in African and African-American music.

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Blues has evolved from the unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of slaves imported from West Africa and rural blacks into a wide variety of styles and subgenres, with regional variations across the United States.

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Blues music adopted elements from the "Ethiopian airs", minstrel shows and Negro spirituals, including instrumental and harmonic accompaniment.

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Blues became a code word for a record designed to sell to black listeners.

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Blues performances were organized by the Theater Owners Bookers Association in nightclubs such as the Cotton Club and juke joints such as the bars along Beale Street in Memphis.

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Blues performers such as John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters continued to perform to enthusiastic audiences, inspiring new artists steeped in traditional blues, such as New York–born Taj Mahal.

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Blues' 12-bar structure and the blues scale was a major influence on rock and roll music.

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Blues asked several famous directors such as Clint Eastwood and Wim Wenders to participate in a series of documentary films for PBS called The Blues.

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Blues participated in the rendition of compilations of major blues artists in a series of high-quality CDs.

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Blues was highlighted in season 2012, episode 1 of In Performance at the White House, entitled "Red, White and Blues".

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