Course

Rhythm Of The Blues

In Progress/ Blues is a music genre and form originating in the deep south of the United States during the 1800s. The roots of this genre come from African musical traditions. The genre incorporates spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, rhymed simple narratives and rhythmic elements. The Blues form is also ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and characterized by a call-and-response, the blues scale, specific chord progressions and song forms of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes (or "worried notes"), flat thirds, fifths and sevenths are an essential part of the sound. The African shuffle rhythm and walking bass lines work together to create a trance-like hypnotic rhythm, also known as 'the groove'. Before starting this course please watch the Martin Scorsese documentary on the blues provided here. This is also available on PBS and Netflix. I believe it is paramount to have at least a casual understanding of how this seminal American musical style came to be, and how it spawned other American musical art forms.

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