Form of vocal and instrumental music to a style of performance
• Sung in rural areas of the south
• First was the “country blues” performed with guitar
o W.C. Handy
In 1910 blues gained popularity through
o Characteristics of blues
Progression: blues has a particular harmonic sequence.
• Usually 12 bars or measures involving 3 basic chords
o 4ms. Of the I chord, 2ms of IV chord, 2ms of I
chord, 2 ms V chord, 2 ms of I chord
blue botes: bent notes, crdathshadthgs, scoops and slurs produced
by slightly lowering the 3 5 or 7 note of the scale
blue rhythm: singers and instrumentalist play around the beat.
Either just before the beat or right after it.
• Similar to rubato
Text: lyrics that concern unhappy situations
Instrumental blues: not always vocal.
o Bessie smith
Empress of the blues was the most famous of 1920s. sold on black
swan label, the first African American recording company
o Billie holiday
Known as lady day and discovered in 1933
• Sang clubs in Brooklyn and harlem
• The big band era: swingstyle 1930s and 40s
Swing grew out of Dixieland.
• Bands bigger. 1420 players
Sax on frontline doubling on clarinet. Second line brass (trumpet
and trombones) rhythm section in back piano, bass, and drums
Played in dancehalls or grand ballrooms and was for dancing
In Dixieland the trumper had the melody in swing the sax often
had the melody
o Duke ellington
Big band leader
Composer, arranger, and leader of own band
Remained popular until death
Advent of big bands brought greater need for arranged or written
Take the a train
• One of th