The Blues

  • Five Characteristics of the Blues

    The five characteristics are call and response, descending melodic line, melody through the use of blue notes, harmony is chordal structure of a 12 bar blues progression, and rock inherited form in the strophic structure.
  • Call and Response

    Call and Response
    This came from slave songs before the civil war, field hands after the war, and prison gang songs. The leader would start a melody, and others would repeat it back.
  • Descending Melodic Line

    Melody of blues songs may have came from field hollers. Singer starts singing loud and long and falls in pitch from high notes to low notes, until the singer runs out of breath. This was the most prominent form of communication between fields.
  • Blue Notes

    The Blue notes are formed from slightly altered pitches; this is how a blues melody is created. Generally, the third and the seventh notes are altered slightly-making the pitch a little lower.
  • Harmony and Form

    It comes from European church hymns and the hymns were brought to African Slaves. The melody is repeated, changing a few words each time. They told a story.
  • 12-Bar Blues

    Verses are generally AAB ryme scheme
  • Important Words

    Fill- an instrumental response to the sung call.
    Turnaround- The dominant chord is played to set up the return of the tonic chord at the beginning of the next verse
  • Two Types of Blues

    Two Types of Blues
    There is the rural blues and the urban blues. The rural blues developed in the southeast, known as the delta blues. It was also seen in Georgia and the Carolinas. Urban blues was played in Kansas City, St.Louis, Dallas, and Oklahoma City.
  • Period: to

    Blues Created

  • Texas Rural Blues

    Texas Rural Blues
    <a href='<a href= '' TARGET="_blank" >' >BLJ</a>The lyrics are more clear, and the pitch is higher. Guitar is more smooth, and the riffs are created on the lower strings. The most prominent of the Texas rural blues musicians was Blind Lemon Jefferson. He wrote a song called "MatchBox Blues."
  • Boogie Woogie

    Boogie Woogie
    <a href='<a href= '' TARGET="_blank" >' >MLL</a>This is also known as Honky Tonk. Meade “Lux” Lewis wrote Honky Tonk Train Blues
    Principal feature is a repeated, or ostinato, bass line that is usually played in a fast, eight-pulses to a measure feel. More often, the bass rhythm is played in a bouncy, long note/short note rhythm called a barrelhouse rhythm. Also features a walking bass line.
  • Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith

    Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith
    <a href='<a href= '' TARGET="_blank"' >MR</a>They were considered to be classic blues singers. Ma Rainey wrote a song called "Prove it on me Blues."
  • Urban Blues Created

    It was devoloped in big cities such as NYC, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas and Kansas City and remained popular into the 1940’s and 1950’s. Chicago is most famous for the Urban Blues.
  • Urban Blues Style

    Urban Blues Style
    Singer was acompanied by a small group with electric guitars, harmonicas, double bass, drums and piano. 12-Bar style used exclusively. They used amps, so the music was loud.
  • Mississippi Delta Blues

    Mississippi Delta Blues
    <a href='<a href= '<a href= '' TARGET="_blank"' TARGET="_blank"' >RJ</a>This had the strongets influence on rock music. It used the slide guitar, and a heavy, percussive style of picking. Sad, wailing type of singing. Robert Johnson is the most prominent musician in the Mississippi Delta Blues; he wrote the "Cross Road Blues."
  • Cross Road Blues

    Cross Road Blues
    Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the devil at the Cross Roads in exchange for Johnson playing sad, crooning blues music for the rest of his life. As the story goes, the devil apperaed to him as a big man at midnight, and the devil tapped him on the shoulder, and tuned his guitar. The rest is history. You can find the Crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi atthe corner of highway 322 N, State St. and Desoto Ave.
  • Texas Urban Blues

    Texas Urban Blues
    <a href='<a href= '<a href= 'http://'' TARGET="_blank"' TARGET="_blank"' >tbone</a>The most famous musician was Aaron “T-Bone” Walker. Very popular amongst African-American after WWII. They used a full sized band, and electric instruments, which was different from the acoustic rural Texas blues. He wrote "Call It Stormy Monday" Blues.
  • Chicago Urban Blues

    Chicago Urban Blues
    <a href='<a href= 'http://'' TARGET="_blank"' TARGET="_blank' >MW</a>It used slide guitars and bent notes. the most famous musician was Muddy Waters; he wrote Blow Wind Blow.
  • Memphis Blues

    Memphis Blues
    <a href='<a href= 'http://'' TARGET="_blank"'' >B.B King </a>Memphis Blues was a style of blues centered in Memphis' main entertainment area, two famous blues musicians who came from this area are B.B King and Howlin' Wolf