What is the Blues?
The Blues is a musical genre that is recognized around the world as the "music of the soul." It came from the songs of African-Americans of the southern United States, expressing his sadness through music. And in fact, the term "blues" denotes sadness and melancholy, which is not to say that all expressions of this music are to that end. The blues is one of the genres most influential, being part of other genres as recognized as Rock and Roll, R & B and Jazz.
Blues originated, probably in the 17TH century, the religious and pagan songs that African slaves sang in the plantations of cotton, peanuts and tobacco in southern United States. This music was a way of expressing their requests to the divine and their feelings about slavery, the sadness and the freedom for them. The sound began to extend to become urban and become the Blues.
In 1912, the first score of the blues music came to light: "Dallas Blues" by Hart Wand. The same year he left "Memphis Blues" by W. C. Handy. In 1920, Mamie Smith produced "Crazy Blues", which became the first recording of this genre. The blues soon became the main African-American expression and one of the most popular United States genres, even among the white population. It evolved from vocal music of black slaves, a series of styles and subgenres, vocal and instrumental, with variations in the different States of the country. In addition, soon evolved from informal bar music to great entertainment in the theatres. With the passing of the years, different style of blues were drawing the attention of people from all over the world and today, is a respected musical style and one of the most influential.
The blues presented as main features the rhythm, singing and the instrumentation. The rhythm of the blues (acoustic and rural) has a very characteristic rhythm due to its fixed beat, that allows you to dance. In terms of singing, it is an important part, and presents features of the Gospel, with the shout, for example, that it is a cry of the black singer, or characteristic inflections of the voice or trills and falsettos. The singer expresses their emotions, what is most important in this style to the tuning. On the instrumentation, predominate the guitar (with transposition of cords and vibrato, to give greater expressivity, more use of the "slide", a tube that slides down the ropes giving them a special sound), bass, the drums, harmonica, piano, and, sometimes, winds. The classic blues is played in twelve bars and presents repeated harmonic tensions with vocal accompaniment, that can be improvised, or instrumental.
The different styles of blues include some like Blue Country, Acoustic Blues, Jazz Blues, Vaudeville Blues, Jump Blues, Urban Blues, Folk Blues, electric Blues, classic female Blues, modern Blues, among many others.
Stand out in blues artists such as Robert Johnson (with his legendary style on guitar), Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt (with influences from rock and country in addition), Jonny Lang, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Johnnie Johnson and Jimmie Vaughan, among others.