Chapter 3 american blues traditions
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 14

Chapter 3 – American Blues Traditions PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 54 Views
  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Chapter 3 – American Blues Traditions. Songsters – poor traveling black folk musicians in the late 1800’s – early 1900’s Many black musicians in the South were day laborers; only a few played music full-time Some of the musicians were blind; music was the only way they could make a living

Download Presentation

Chapter 3 – American Blues Traditions

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Chapter 3 – American Blues Traditions


  • Songsters – poor traveling black folk musicians in the late 1800’s – early 1900’s

  • Many black musicians in the South were day laborers; only a few played music full-time

  • Some of the musicians were blind; music was the only way they could make a living

  • In their travels searching for work, musicians encountered a variety of audiences and had to maintain a diverse repertoire

  • Sang songs that told stories about legendary heroes and villains, notable events and deeds

  • The words to the verses would change, but the words to the refrain would remain the same, reinforcing the central idea and theme of the song


12-Bar Blues


12-Bar Blues

  • Although we currently align the form to twelve bars, early blues songsters held chords longer or shorter when it felt right with the mood of the song


12-Bar Blues


12-Bar Blues


Early Blues

Mississippi Delta

  • Area of flatland that stretches from Memphis, Tennessee to Vicksburg, Mississippi

  • A number of blues styles developed in the South, but none were more pervasive than that of the Mississippi Delta


Mississippi Delta Blues

  • Charlie Patton – around 1881, near Jackson Mississippi

  • Learned guitar at the age of 14, performed music around the delta for 30 years

  • Made his first recording when he was around 40 years old

  • His vocal quality was rough, growling and intense


Mississippi Delta Blues

  • He often deliberately slurred his words, a practice that became an identifying trait of the Delta blues style

  • He also tended to let his voice blend into his guitar playing, sometimes not finishing the lyrics and letting the guitar finish it instead

  • Patton's guitar accompaniment was simple, but it created a danceable rhythm

  • Patton taught and inspired a number of blues singers, most notably Robert Johnson


Mississippi Delta Blues

  • Robert Johnson – 1911 Mississippi

  • Took to the road to make a living as a musician to avoid sharecropping

  • He was a small and handsome man; like many blues musicians he had a way with women

  • He spent the rest of his short life chasing after women and running away from their men


Mississippi Delta Blues

  • Characteristics of Mississippi Delta blues musicians

  • slurred vocals

  • vocals blended into guitar parts

  • stronger sense of rhythm


Other Regional Blues Styles


Blind Lemon Jefferson

  • Texas - 1893

  • Style was close to field holler

  • Higher pitched singing

  • Lacked steady rhythm


Blind Willie McTell

  • Atlanta - 1898

  • More pronunciation in vocals

  • Lighter vocal tone

  • More delicate guitar playing


  • Login