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Blues 1/3

Blues is a genre of music that originated in the African-American communities of the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is characterized by its use of the blues scale, its emotional and personal lyrics, and its use of the call-and-response format. Blues is known for its influence on a wide range of other musical genres, including rock and roll, jazz, and country music.

According to Wikipedia, blues "is a genre of music that originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, spirituals, and the folk music of white Americans of European heritage. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads."

Some of the most famous blues artists and bands include B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Robert Johnson. These artists are known for their style-defining albums and songs, such as B.B. King's "Live at the Regal" and Muddy Waters' "At Newport 1960."

There are many famous songs in the blues genre, including "The Thrill is Gone" by B.B. King, "Hoochie Coochie Man" by Muddy Waters, and "Cross Road Blues" by Robert Johnson. Some of the best-selling blues albums include "Live at the Regal" by B.B. King, "At Newport 1960" by Muddy Waters, and "Cross Road Blues" by Robert Johnson.

Typical instrumentation for blues includes electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, and vocals. Blues music is often used for underscore licensing in film and television. Its emotional and personal lyrics, and its use of the call-and-response format are well-suited for use in scenes that require a moody or introspective feel. In terms of the emotions that blues evokes, it can range from feelings of melancholy and sadness to more upbeat and energetic moods.

Blues is a genre of music that has had a significant impact on many other musical genres, including rock and roll, jazz, and country music. Some of the most famous blues-influenced artists and bands include the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton. These artists have incorporated elements of blues into their music, such as the use of the blues scale and the incorporation of blues-influenced guitar techniques.

The blues has also had a significant influence on popular culture and has been referenced in a wide range of media, including film, television, and literature. Many blues songs have become popular standards, and they have been covered by a wide range of artists and bands.

In addition to its influence on other musical genres, the blues has also had a significant impact on the cultural landscape of the United States and beyond. Blues music has played a role in the civil rights movement and has been used as a platform to address social and political issues. Many blues songs have been inspired by the struggles and experiences of African Americans, and they have helped to document the history and culture of this community.

Despite its origins in the African-American community, the blues has gained a wide and diverse audience over the years.


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7. Casino Funk 03:08

Classic 1960's, 1970's style funk-rock with a slick, modern sound. Funky bass line, Hammond organ. Fun and excitement, casinos and gambling, game shows, showtime. Jazzy and upbeat, exciting, Las Vegas. A little bit mischievous, cheeky. Takes on a more bluesy rock feel towards the end, with a blues guitar.

Casino Funk
18. Mayfly 02:09

Gentle but joyful americana, bluegrass crossover. This track starts with only a banjo and then adds mandolin, pedal steel guitar and bass. Wholesome and genuine, great for outdoors, hiking, fishing, hobby, nature etc with elements of Western, folk and Americana.

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69 tracks, registered with a PRO
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The musical genre called blues is a form of vocal and instrumental music whose original form is characterized by a repetitive structure of twelve bars and in particular, in the melody, the use of the so-called blue notes. Although ragtime, jazz and spiritual do not have the same origin or the same history as blues, these three African-American musical styles have been strongly influenced by each other.

The roots of blues are to be found among the songs of the African-American slave communities in the plantations of the southern states of the USA (the so-called Cotton Belt). The antiphonal structure (of call and answer) and the use of blue notes (a diminished interval of fifth that classical harmony considers dissonant and that in Italy earned the blues the nickname of stunted music), associate the blues to the musical forms of West Africa.

From these humble origins, blues grew to become the most recorded form of popular music in the world, ending up strongly influencing, or even giving birth to, many of the styles of modern popular music and becoming, from the 1960s, one of the dominant influencing factors in pop music. Among the genres that were most directly influenced by blues, we remember: bluegrass, rhythm and blues, talking blues, rock and roll, hard rock, hip-hop.

The genre

Blues comes from the expression "to have the blue devils" with the meaning of "being sad, agitated, depressed". The expression, attested in the English language since the seventeenth century, originally referred to the hallucinatory state that followed the crisis of abstinence from alcohol. At the time "blue" was a synonym for slang "drunk" and for this reason the laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol on Sundays were referred to as "Blue laws". Towards the end of the 1700's, a slow couple dance spread in taverns was referred to as "blues" or "slow drag". After the American Civil War, the expressions "to be blue"/"to have the blues" came to indicate a state of suffering, sadness or melancholy, detached from the original association with drunkenness. The use of expression among the African-American population to designate the music associated with this state could even be after 1900. At that point the two meanings (extramusical and musical) merged, and it became common to say the blues musician played or sang to "get rid of the blues". This association between the blues feeling and the musical genre took on great importance, and the idea that the expression of the blues feeling - above the technical medium - constitutes the essence of the music is strongly rooted in the blues community.

Sheet music of "Saint Louis Blues"

As with other forms of popular music, the origins of blues, as little documented and obscure, are the subject of much discussion.

In particular, there is no precise date of birth for this musical genre: the oldest trace of a musical form similar to blues is the story that, in 1901, made an archaeologist of Mississippi, describing the song of black workers that seems to have melodic and lyrical affinities with the blues of today. It is not, therefore, possible to establish exactly a date that marks the origin of the genre, but a fundamental year was 1865, the year of the abolition of slavery in the USA having obtained freedom, many former slave-musicians began to bring their music out of the plantations and, within a few decades, this genre was known to most until they reached the first attestations that have reached us.

One of the most important ancestors of the blues is undoubtedly the spiritual, a form of devotional singing born from the meetings of devotees during the Great Awakening of the early nineteenth century. Of melancholic and passionate subject, compared to the blues the spiritual ones had less personal accents and addressed to the person of the singer, often referring to the condition of the humanity in general and to his relationship with God, and the texts were correspondingly less profane.

Other ancestors of the blues are to be found among the work songs of black slaves (field hollers) and of other origins (harbourmen's songs or stevedore; labourers' songs or roustabout), which resounded in America at the time of the Civil War (and also in the following years, when the condition of awe and poverty of Afro-Americans persisted despite the abolition of slavery). From these the blues probably inherited its call and response structure, of African origin, but instead borrowed its harmonic and instrumental structure from the European tradition.

Many of the features of blues, starting with the antiphonal structure and the use of blue notes, can be traced back to African music. 6] Ethnomusicologist Gerhard Kubik, a professor at the University of Mainz, Germany, and author of one of the most comprehensive treatises on the African origins of blues (Africa and the Blues), was perhaps the first to attribute certain elements of blues to Islamic music in Central and Western Africa:

Gerhard Kubik wrote in „Africa and The Blues (University Press of Mississippi)“ in 2008: "Stringed instruments (the favorite of slaves from Islamic regions) were generally tolerated by the masters who considered them similar to European instruments such as the violin. For this reason the slaves who managed to get a banjo had more chances to play in public. This solo slave music had some characteristics of the style of Arab-Islamic song that had been present for centuries in central-western Africa".

Kubik also points out that the technique, typical of Mississippi and remembered by bluesman W. C. Handy in his autobiography, of playing the guitar using the blade of a knife, has correspondents in Africa. Even the diddley bow, a homemade instrument made from a single string stretched on a wooden board, which is plucked modulating the sound through a slide made of glass and which was often encountered in South America at the beginning of the twentieth century, was of African derivation.

It is believed that the oldest bluesman by birth for whom we have a recording is Daddy Stovepipe, born in 1867, "one man band" guitarist, singer, harmonicist and player of "Kazoo" and other self-made instruments, of which we have the song "Sundown Blues" recorded in 1924, but whose first performances with blues prodromes date back to around 1890 .