The blues originated in the 19th century and came from the South. Enslaved African-Americans used this genre, which is derived from hymns, chants, loud cries, and work songs, to express their emotions. It didn’t take long for the blues to become a popular music genre and give rise to many new genres of music. This genre is a sheer masterpiece that connects millions of African-American communities in the form of religious music.
Over the past years, the blues have evolved to various styles and subgenres that paved the way to mainstream music. You can make your unique style of music using the correct chord progressions and melodies from the history of blues music.
So, without further ado, let us begin this blog by understanding what blues music is and how it can inspire you to become a better musician.
What is blues music?
Blues music originated from African-American work songs after the civil war in the 1860s. It was not until the roaring twenties the genre got popular in the mainstream music industry and developed the AAB lyric pattern. The major blues music consists of six notes, including 1, 2, b3, 3, 5, and 6 major scales and 1, b3, 4, b5, 5, and b7 minor scales.
Earlier, blues songs were focused on the pain, agony, and injustice expressed by enslaved African-Americans with a slow tempo and melancholy melodies. However, with an increase in popularity, the tempo soon became faster and gave rise to new forms of music genre. To understand more about blues music, let us move ahead from the blues music definitions to the characteristics of this brilliant music genre.
Different types of blues music
Now, let us look at some popular and widely used types of blues music that you can consider for the music lessons for your kids.
- Delta blues
Delta blues gets its name from the place it originated in, Mississippi Delta. It is one of the oldest forms of blues music that primarily features slide guitars and harmonica. Such type of blues music is slower and more straightforward compared to other forms of blues music. Delta blues has inspired many forms of blues music, such as Chicago blues, British blues, and more.
- Chicago blues
The migration in the 20th century to Chicago resulted in a shift in the musical tradition of blues music. New styles of musical instruments, such as electric guitars, were introduced to the music genre, and musicians began experimenting with their talents in unique ways. Performers would usually sing with a band along with harmonica, drums, double bass, and piano as focal instruments.
- Contemporary blues
Contemporary blues, popularly known as modern blues, was inspired by acoustic and electric blues. Contemporary blues also incorporates other modern elements, such as slick production and pop song writings. Micheal Jackson and Quincy Jones are among the few artists who modernized traditional rhythm and blues by introducing other fast-paced genres to the music industry. With contemporary blues, you can easily add fun elements to your music and create your own unique style.
Boogie-woogie blues remained a popular type of blues music between the 1920s to 1950s. Boogie-woogie blues emphasizes the complex and intricate rhythm played on piano accompanied by vocals. The piano is one of the prominent instruments in the boogie-woogie blues to add a desirable melody to your music/songs. For better results, focus on groves more than on tunes.
- African blues
African blues music is the type of music genre that was introduced by the slaved African-Americans in the United States. Most music historians believe that American music has roots in African music brought by people who carried their music traditions to the country. Whereas, another group of music historians believes that blues music that found its way back to Africa from the United States is referred to as African Blues.
Characteristics of blue music
- Instruments: Slide guitar and piano are the most iconic blues musical instruments used by musicians. Over the past few decades, bass, drums, harmonica, and more have become prominent instruments in blues music.
- Twelve-bar song form: Numerous blues songs are made using the twelve-bar song format, including I, IV, and V chords from a diatonic scale (major or minor).
- Country blues: Country blues is the genre that fits the sub-genre category of blues music. Delta blues, Texas blues, and Piedmont blues are examples of sub-genres of blues music.
- Urban blues: Urban blues started after World War II when acoustic guitars were replaced with electronic guitars, and western music was mixed with culturally focused blues music.
When was blues music invented?
As per the records, there is no exact date of the origin of blues music, but many music historians believe that blues music was invented in the USA in the 1860s after the Civil War.
How did the moody blues incorporate classical music into days of the future past?
Moody blues is one of the most popular and long-lasting rock bands in the country known for blending pop and classical music in their songs. The band was famous for composing songs and incorporating orchestral instruments into their music. However, once they started recording music with mellotron, they never again added orchestral instruments to their songs or regular personnel.
How does the blues influence country music?
Throughout the recorded history of country music, blues have played a major role in the music industry. Artists such as Jimmie Roger (called the father of country music) was popular in his times for combining the blues, jazz, cowboy, gospel, and folk style in his music/songs.
What instruments are used in blues music?
Slide guitar and vocals are the prominent elements of blues music. However, over the past few years, music has evolved to the next level. Some popular instruments/elements often heard in blues music include brass instruments, saxophone, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, Dixieland drum kit, double bass, piano, trumpet, and more.
Where did blues music originate?
Most music historians believe that the enslaved African-Аmericans forced to live in the country created this genre (blues music) while working on Southern plantations. They took inspiration from hymns, work songs, emotions, field hollers, and more to convert their pain and misery into melancholy melodies. Several forms of music genres are inspired by blues music.
Who Made Blues Music Famous?
Renowned singers and musicians had a great contribution to making the blues widely popular and loved music genre in the history of American Music. Rock singers such as Elvis Presley, Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, B.B king, and Papa Charlie Jackson made the blues extremely popular in the country and influenced many artists to follow in their footsteps.
At Anselmo Academy, we consist of a team of highly skilled and experienced music teachers that help young kids learn music and frame a brighter future ahead of them. To learn more about our services or directly speak with one of our representatives, call us at (212) 665-9051.