The Black Roots of America’s Blues

African-American Studies / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
This paper looks at the history of the “Blues” and its influence on the American music scene.

This paper is an in-depth examination of the Blues. It begins by taking a look at the Deep South roots of the original Blues during slavery and how it began to spread north to Harlem in the late 1900s. The birth of contemporary Blues in the 1940s is detailed and it looks at some of the musicians, such as Scott Joplin who began incorporating these rhythms into their music. The next area covered is the building of the Blues, and traces the growth of different genres from the original blues. According to this author, the legacy of the blues was set, when it reached the ears of Elvis Presley, which led to the birth of rock and roll.
The music that was originally known as the blues developed from a variety of hereditary and regional musical influences and practices popular among the people of the southern portion of the United States. The roots of all varieties of blues music can be traced to the southern states, particularly those that comprise the area of the nation known as the Deep South. The music originating in the hills and backwoods of Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky, music that has become most commonly associated with hillbilly bands and rhythms, is in fact a variety of the blues genre that is often referred to as country blues (Pooley 86). The style and genre that is most commonly associated with the blues, however, is also commonly associated with the nation’s African-American sector and stems from the Delta blues, a form of the blues that originated among the slave populations of the antebellum south and developed alongside its country cousin (86). This distinct musical style and form developed from the West African rhythms and beats that were brought to America by African slaves imported during the early years of slavery, rhythms and beats that were kept alive and passed down from generation to generation by the traditional music and songs of southern slaves.


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