Origin of the Blues
Blues are songs that have been associated with an exclusive cultural variety. Blues’ origin can be traced as having begun with the rural Black-Americans who lived in the south-eastern part of the United States. These were mostly slaves who were under poor working environments and thus expressed their sorrowful feelings through singing. This implies that the blues came out of the songs that the slaves sang according to (Goffman). The blues took center stage in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as African American’s songs that dominated the Southern part and more or less simultaneously in non-urban places, little cities, and places such as the New Orleans and Memphis. Often the blues were sung by individuals with the accompaniment of a musical instrument. The themes that dominated the songs at the time included issues of love and relationships, disloyalty, hardship, bad fortune, and an itinerant way of life that the Blacks were going through.
Blues reflected the lifestyles of the Black slaves who were under difficult times. Many musicologists try to affiliate Blues with both Western and African custom. Music historian John Palmer may be most accurate entitling it as a Black-American development. By doing so, Palmer then associates blues to many different factors of black-American songs. The concept of the lyric was the most critical facet of the songs and determined what type was used. The musical show audio of the Blues is also discovered in many other non-vernacular designs such as the classical music. Despite being associated with some European backgrounds, it is worth pointing out, as musical researchers have established, that the Western components in the blues only creates a balance but much of it is filled with the African components particularly in the music’s stroking, tonal, and timbral flexibility.
Goffman, E. “From the Blues to Hip Hop: How African American Music Changed U.S. Culture and Moved the World.” (2010): n. page. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/aamusic/review.pdf>.