• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Blues

Extracts from this document...


Blues Blues is a genre of Afro-American folk music which originated from slaves working on plantations in the southern states of the USA. Blues music reflected the status of Black Americans after slavery was abolished; there were over 4 million Black people in the country, a power that could not be denied. The slaves developed field hollers in a "call and response" style which served as the basis of all blues music. Blues kept the "call and response" form of expression but it differed in that the "call" was not answered by another participant but by the singer themselves. ...read more.


The slide effect was also used on the banjo. Later when Blues became more popular and moved north singers were accompanied by jazz instruments like the trumpet, trombone, clarinet, piano and contrabass. With the increased popularity of blues and the variety of instruments that played in the blues orchestra some instrumental problems were encountered and their solutions lead to advances in blues instrumentation, for example the resonator guitar was designed to balance the volume of the guitar when playing with wind and brass instruments but due to its distinctive "blues" sound was used even after electronic amplification solved this problem. ...read more.


Blues music has a slow tempo and the lyrics are soulful and melancholy reflecting the themes of black American life before and after the liberation they include drinking, railroads, jail, murder, poverty, hard labour, love lost and tales of personal experience on plantations. Although the lyrics and style of blues can be seen as oppressing it is on the whole is a powerful, emotive and rhythmic genre celebrating the life of black Americans. In the 1940s a faster style of blues was developed called Rhythm 'n' Blues. It was a combination of mainly Blues and Jazz and was performed by small combinations of four or five musicians. In the 1950s Rock and Roll was developed from Rhythm 'n' Blues with influences from jazz and Gospel music. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Music section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay contains some useful information on the blues style although it is very disappointing that the 12 bar blues chord sequence has been annotated incorrectly as this is a very significant piece of information. There is some excellent use of musical vocabulary.

Marked by teacher Nathan Smith 08/01/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Music essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Integrated Task Commentary. For my performance I have chosen a Trinity Guildhall Grade 5 ...

    4 star(s)

    on in the piece and move it onto a different set of drums. I did this on the philosophy "true sophistication is simplicity", I felt the need to have a theme that was evident throughout the piece. This is because the written music varies for the sake of testing technical

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The 2 areas of study I chose to focus on in my piece were: ...

    at one point and possibly changing form scalic to chromatic every so often. The area of study 'Structure and Form' was key in my piece and was always being thought of when composing the piece. The piece is successful in relation to this as it is written in themes and

  1. Better People: A Song Analysis of Teen Culture

    It almost implies the question, "How can you do nothing, sit back and let others stand up for what you believe in?" The song continues on to say how these few are the people who give food to the hungry, hope to the needy, life to a baby and care for free.

  2. The Symbolism Used by EM Forster in "A Room With A View"

    The song itself is about shutting off feelings. Phrases in the song such as "vacant hand and eye" and "taste not when the wine cup glistens, speak not when the people listens" represent Lucy very well. There is also symbolism within the words of the song.

  1. Music Composition Brief 1

    However, it is still polyphonic, just like the rest of the piece. The left hand played thirds whereas the right hand carried the melody. The first 4 bars followed this pattern, with the chord changing every half bar: Emin, Bmin, Amin, F#min, Dmaj, Amin, Bmin, F#min.

  2. Comparing and Contrasting the life and works of Bach and Mozart

    Bach sang in the choir at Michaelisschule until his voice broke. He then became an instrumentalist. At school, he heard the organist Georg Böhm play, and also Adam Reincken, another distinguished organist, of the Hamburg Catharinekirche. He was inspired by both of these musicians to improve his organ skills.

  1. Music Assignment - Who are you? The song that I feel best relates ...

    The last verse that I feel I can truly relate to states ?I'm shaking it off.

  2. Rock And Roll - analysis of the different styles of Rock.

    However, some Punk Rock bands like the Sex Pistols broke from this format. Punk Rock laid the groundwork for Alternative music. Punk Rock bands and artists include: Ramones (1974-1996) Sex Pistols (1975-1978) The Stooges (1967?1971, 1972?1974, 2003?Present) My Chemical Romance (2001-Present)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work