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The blues is the roots, the rest is the fruit. The blues comes from Africa, it was born in the North Mississippi Delta following the Civil War in the course of the XIX century. In fact it is a fusion between the culture of

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The blues comes from Africa, it was born in the North Mississippi Delta following the

Civil War in the course of the XIX century. In fact it is a fusion between the culture of

this continent and the history of the slavery. Blues was invented by the slaves who

were deported to America. It expresses their suffering. Music was the only way of

expression. They could resist with the lyrics which told about their problems but this

real meaning was hiding, they spoke always with metaphors. This music could be very

melancholic but it expresses also the hope of this population.

Influenced by African roots, field hollers, ballads, church music evolved into music for

a singer who would engage in call-and-response with his guitar.

The blues have strongly influenced almost all popular music as jazz, country, and rock

and roll and continues to help shape music worldwide. In which way, the Blues is the

roots of the different kind of music, the current musicals genres?

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I. The Blues is the roots…

  • The blues form was first popularized about 1911-14 by the black composer W.C. Handy, in particular with the song “Memphis blues” which got the heart and the soul of the black people. The Blues is the essence of the African American laborer, whose spirit is mixed with these songs, reflecting his soul to all who will listen.

W.C Handy, blues’ father

  • Nevertheless the structure of the blues is very simple and the ideas conveyed by the blues are very attractive. Young people stemming of an education very strict find in this music a way of « emancipation ».
  • During the twenties, the blues became a national favorite music.In northern cities like Chicago and Detroit, during the end of the forties and early fifties, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, among others, played what was basically Mississippi Delta blues, with instruments like bass, drums, piano and occasionally harmonica, and began to make success in United states with blues songs.
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The main themes evoked in the Blues’ lyrics are the depression, the love (the woman leaving her husband). The political aspect is also very present in some songs, as well as a lot of sexual allusions

  • B.B. King, in Memphis, invented the concept of lead guitar, now standard in today's Rock bands. Leadbelly, and Son House, left Country Blues to create the sounds most of us think of today as traditional Blues.
slide5

II. … the rest is the fruit.

  • Blues was played with simply instruments like the jug, the diddley bow and little by little, news instruments appeared (piano, guitar and harmonica).
  • The blues and his artists like Muddy Waters, Robert Jonhson, Son House, John Lee Hooker had a major influence on the news kinds of music, on the American popular music, in particular on the jazz, the rock n roll, the rhythm and blues…
  • The blues is the root of the music of the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, the Beatles. These new groups made an evolution on the blues.
  • Since the sixties, rock has undergone several blues revivals. Some rock guitarists, such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, and Eddie Van Halen have used the blues as a foundation for several styles. While the originators like John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson and B.B. King and their heirs Buddy Guy, and later Eric Clapton, among many others, continued to make fantastic music in the blues tradition.
slide6

Jazz

The jazz was invented by the American black people stemming from the slavery. It is clearly influenced by the gospel, and the blues. The Jazz is much more given rhythm than the blues.

Blues and Jazz have much in common, from their origins in the African-American communities of the southern United States at the beginning of the 20th century to their spread, in particular from a point of view of the musical structure. Jazz as we know it would not exist without the blues.

Jazz giants as Louis Armstrong or King Oliver used blues songs as the foundation for many of their most important creations.

Diana Krall, Joshua Redman and other young jazz stars of the day still play the blues.

Louis Armstrong- What a wonderful world

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzJY96m3lkg

Diana Krall- Almost blues

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z7X8fbNIkI&feature=related

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Rock

The blues is, at first, the main element of the "marriage" with the country music which gave birth to the rock 'n' roll, to the United States, in the middle of 1950s. When USA were divided by racial problems many people find a spirit of equality in Rock n’ roll it was caring the same values as the blues some decades previously. The term of rock was invented by the white artists to avoid meeting in the same tubs that the black artists. Like jazz, rock and roll draws upon gospel spirituals and the blues

Robert Johnson and Elmore James were huge influences on 60’s rockers like Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones, who listened religiously their music.

Rock bands as the Rolling Stones or the Beatles were inspired by B.B King, a bluesman who invented the concept of lead guitar. So, the Blues is really the root of many music styles.

JimiHendrix was really influenced by great bluesmen like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson that he quotes during his concerts. The blues constitutes the base of the guitarist vocabulary used by Jimi Hendrix.

Robert Johnson- Sweet home Chicago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8hqGu-leFc

Eric Clapton- Sweet home Chicago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moAR4Bb2QHI

Jimi Hendrix- Voodoo Child

Little wing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoAXW30mMAg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=056JWqofZ7M

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The blues is the roots, the rest is the fruit. This is the main movement which inspired most of the current kind of music: by techniques, rhythm, themes of lyrics... Blues, invented by black communities, was spread all over the world, in Europe, and White people appropriated this music. So themes evocated by the Blacks in the birth of Blues took another sense as time goes by but the theme of love, lost love, will be still present. Blues will always have an influence on current art movements.