31 August 2010

The Blues - an introduction

Most people imagine that 'the Blues' is a form of musical expression characterised by mournful lamentations about life's hardships or expressions of lost love . Ask any musician, and they will tell you that it's the name of a musical form, moving from the tonic to the sub-dominant fourth, then via a flattened seventh, back to the dominant. And a singer might point out that it is a four-bar 'call' or phrase that is repeated then completed by a four-bar 'answer'. Elijah Wald's strength is to show that it means all these things - and more besides. The blues also a thorough mixture of European and African American musical elements that first became popular via very politically incorrect minstrel shows in the early decades of the twentieth century... more >>

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