Details on what the blues is

If you are interested in music, the blues is a direction that cannot be ignored. About him we will talk today. This is a musical form and genre, which originated in the late XIX century. This phenomenon has arisen in the African American community in the Southeast USA. It happened in the midst of people who came from the cotton belt plantations.

General information

what is bluesLet's first analyze the meaning of the word blues. Translated from English - it is melancholy or sadness. This direction is one of the most significant contributions of African Americans to the musical culture of the whole world. Let's see when these unusual songs appeared. Blues is a term that was first used by George Coleman in a farce called the Blue Devils. This work was created in 1798. From this point on, the phrase Blue Devils in literary works is often used to describe a depressed mood.


songs bluesTo understand the question of what the blues is, one should know where this phenomenon comes from.The birth of this trend began in the distant times of the emergence of slavery in America. At that time, labor was imported from Africa. African Americans in those days worked on the plantations. As a service staff, they did all the unassuming and dirtiest work. So, in order to understand what a blues is, it should be borne in mind that it is based on the complexity of the realities of life of African Americans. However, at first they expressed their attitude to the world with the help of other types of creativity. These were mainly ethnic genres, such as spirituals, work song, holler. These directions, in turn, have an even longer history. They take their origins from ethnic African music, based on the folk-religious vocal component and percussion beats.

Classic option

Rhythm BluesWe continue to talk about what the blues is. The formation of this trend in its classical version was completed approximately in the twenties of the 20th century. It was then that appeared ensembles performing blues. During this period, features were established that were inherited from the music of African Americans,the harmonic accompaniment and the 12-cycle form were determined. It was at this time that the blues gradually emerged from the African ghettos, and turned into a form of show business. It is noteworthy that at the same time the craze began singing vocalists who perform the blues. In 1920, Mamie Smith recorded her own Crazy Blues on a record. Suddenly, this work has gained tremendous commercial success.

Rhythm, blues and a mixture of these genres

music bluesNow we will talk about a special kind of phenomenon of interest to us. The genre, which was called "rhythm and blues" has become widespread in wartime. It may be noted a couple of leading performers of this period, Jimmy Rushing and Joe Turner. The latter gained fame thanks to its fast blues. They, rather, he did not even sing, but shouted, accompanied by an energetic piano accompaniment. Such a performance can be attributed to the style of "boogie-woogie." In fact, this is a commercial blues. It originated in the period of urbanization and absorbed elements of the life of the city.

British version

In the 1960s, a series of blues performers appeared in this island nation under the influence of American records.During the period of the British invasion, they entered the American charts, and also achieved worldwide fame. Among them - The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones, and later Eric Clapton. Jimi Hendrix began his career in Britain. The music of these artists influenced modern rock.

In Russia

meaning of the word bluesNow let's see what the blues is for our country and how it developed in its territory. According to Alexey Kalachev, in this process 3 stages were observed. At first, Russian listeners got to know the blues thanks to western rock. They focused mainly on the following performers: Johnny Winter, Alvin Lee, Led Zeppelin. These musicians played blues rock.

Russian performers altered it. The resulting result began to call the blues. Separately, it should be said about such a person as Alexey Belov. This is one of the best Soviet bluesmen of the described period. In 1969, he created a group called “Successful Acquisition”. The music of this group was closest to the greatest extent to the American blues.

Thus, the emergence of blues in the USSR can be attributed to the late sixties and early seventies.The second wave is marked in this direction in the eighties. Then there was more not only performers, but also blues listeners. They got more opportunities to get acquainted with primary sources, and also were able to critically evaluate predecessors. Attraction of special interest to the blues was facilitated by the speech of the Bi-King, which took place in the late eighties in Moscow. The most prominent performer in this period was Sergey Voronov. Also of note is the phenomenon of "League of Blues."

We turn to the description of the third period in the formation of the phenomenon of interest to us on the territory of our country. It is associated with the emergence of a special “habitat” of the type of show business of interest to us. We are talking about clubs. Kalachev notes that the blues is not designed for stadium consumption. Demand is exactly the version of club music. The disappearance of the Iron Curtain has significantly expanded the range of albums with blues on sale. It should be said about the special festivals dedicated to this direction. The largest of these is the Neva Delta Blues. It takes place in St. Petersburg.At one time this event can collect up to ten thousand blues lovers.

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