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A History of “The Blues”. General Music Grade 6 Michael Perkins. The Roots of the Blues. The Transition. Blues. Slave music was first hymns & work songs. Gradually it became reworked into an original form of expression.

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A History of “The Blues”

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A History of “The Blues”

General Music

Grade 6

Michael Perkins


The Roots of the Blues


The Transition


Blues

  • Slave music was first hymns & work songs.

  • Gradually it became reworked into an original form of expression.

  • Out of anguish, honesty, talent and self expression “the blues” arrived.

http://www.pbs.org/theblues/songsartists/songsartists.html


What’s In a Name

  • After the Civil War, the music became recognizable, although it still wasn’t called the “the blues”.

  • For many centuries the color blue was associated with the term melancholy.

  • But it wasn’t until the beginning of the twentieth century that “the blues” got its name.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blues


“Father of the Blues”

  • W.C. Handy, singer, songwriter, bandleader, publisher, and instrumentalist, was one of the first to have “blue” notes in a composition that was published. “Blue” notes are flattened 3rds and 7ths.


“Mother of the Blues”

Ma Rainey, one of the first female stars, was born into a show business family in Georgia. She toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels and formed her own band called the Georgia Jazz Band.


“Empress of the Blues”

  • Bessie Smith was born in Tennessee in 1894 and orphaned at eight years of age.

  • At 18, she worked with Ma Rainey.

  • In 1923, her “Downhearted Blues” sold 750,000 copies.


Historian of the Blues

  • Alan Lomax

  • Born in 1915, Alan Lomax began collecting folk music for the Library of Congress with his father at the age of 18. He continued his whole life in the pursuit of recording traditional cultures, believing that all cultures should be recorded and presented to the public. His life's work, represented by seventy years' worth of documentation, will now be housed under one roof at the Library, a place for which the Lomax family has always had strong connections and great affection.


Blind Lemon Jefferson

  • He was born in Texas in 1897. Blind at birth, he spent his time learning to play the guitar.

  • In 1925 his perseverance paid off when he cut his 1st record in Chicago.


“The Blues” Travels North

  • Between 1910 and 1930, nearly 2,000,000 African Americans left the south to head north.

  • It was the biggest migration in American History.


The Chicago Blues

  • The migration of bluesmen to Chicago resulted in a style of blues known as the “Chicago Blues”.

  • The country blues of the Mississippi Delta region was being transformed.

  • Muddy Waters plugged in an electric guitar

  • Numerous Chicago blues musicians formed an upbeat driving blues sound.


Life in Chicago

  • http://www.chipublib.org/001hwlc/vpablues/catfish.wav

"Front Room at Ida B. Wells Housing Projects in Chicago"Russell Lee 1941


Blues Styles

  • California Blues

  • Chicago Blues

  • Classic Blues Singers

  • Country Blues

  • Delta Blues

  • Louisiana Blues

  • Memphis Blues

  • Origins of Rock & Roll

  • Piedmont Blues

  • Rhythm & Blues

  • St. Louis Blues

  • Texas Blues

  • Urban Blues

  • Zydeco

  • http://physics.lunet.edu/blues/blues.html


That’s All Folks


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