Black music: the blues
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Découvrir la musique Blues.
- Le Blues est une musique afro-américaine originaire du sud rural des États-Unis qui influença au siècle dernier le développement du jazz, du rock et de la pop. Il dérive lui-même d'autres styles de musiques, tels que les negro spirituals et le ragtime.
- Une voix solo chante son malheur, au son du banjo, de l'harmonica et de la guitare.
- Les premiers enregistrement remontent aux années 1920.
- Il évolue vers le Rythm and Blues dans les années 1950, suite aux mouvements de populations du Sud vers le Nord du pays. La guitare électrique, la basse et la batterie commencent à apparaître dans les accompagnements.
The blues is of major importance in the development of
XXth century music: it has considerably
influenced jazz, rock, and pop music. It is an Afro-American
music which originated in the rural South of the USA
(particularly in Georgia, Texas and Mississippi) at the turn
of the century.
It derived from the work songs and from different styles of music existing at the end of the XIXth century: ragtime, religious music, Negro spirituals and also White folk music. Similarities can also be found with African songs of complaint.
Techniques are used to express feelings of sadness or melancholy and imitate the tone of human voice: guitarists sometimes bend the strings or apply a metal slide or bottleneck to them to produce a whining (complaining) sound.
The blues is characterised by a 12-bar construction. Its harmony is made of a progression of repeated blues chords using the three major chords of a scale (I, IV, V), and the emotional tone is expressed by the use of "blue notes":a flattened (bémolisé) third or seventh note which is used in a chord when normally a major unflattened interval would have been expected.
But soon, millions of black workers moved to the North of the country for economic reasons and brought their music to urban areas. The blues thus evolved and in the 1940s–1950s, electric guitars and other instruments were used (piano, bass and drums): the urban Blues developed, especially in Chicago (J. Lee Hooker, Howlin'Wolf, Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, B.B. King, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday...). It was more rhythmic, themes were more urban. Rhythm and Blues was born, influenced by jazz. The tunes were more melodic than speech-like and the guitars and drums amplified (R. Charles, J. Brown).
In the 1980s, the latest generation of bluesmen like Robert Cray (the blues noir) or Stevie Ray Vaughan have renewed the genre and attracted new listeners.
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