Blues Essays

Country Blues

Blues evolved from an unaccompanied vocal music and oral tradition of African-American slaves and rural blacks in to a wide variety of styles and subgenres with regional variations across United States and later Europe and Africa. The musical forms and styles arose in the same region during the nineteenth century in the southern United States The country blues has been given several names such as folk blues, rural blues, backwoods blues, or down home blues. Blues is a choral and…

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Good Habit

Good Habit were a professional touring band mostly from Penarth in South Wales, active 1970–1975. They had one single “Find My Way Back Home” that was released by RCA and reviewed by John Peel in Sounds. Some songs including “Ship of Gold” were recorded for Peel’s sessions. For a while the band wore green monastic habits on stage. Live favorites included Danger Zone and King of the Mountain, final numbers would be Keep on Moving and Chicken Shack Stomp/ Hey…

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Sweatin’ the Blues

James Baldwin’s celebrated short story, “Sonny’s Blues”, is a poignant narration of the unique relationship between two brothers, set against the depressed and isolated conditions of Harlem in the 1950s. Much of the story focuses on the disparity of views held by the narrator and his brother Sonny, but their conflict speaks largely of the reality of African Americans at the time, translated into the music that defines their culture. “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston, on the other hand, may…

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Jazz and Poetry

There are many different types of music in the world, and each one is different because of certain characteristics that help to make that genre stand apart from all the others. One of these genres is Jazz. Jazz is a type of music that was created mainly by black Americans during the early twentieth century, and is a combination of American and African tribal music. There are many different characteristics that set Jazz apart from every other kind of music,…

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Comparing Modern Songs to Blues

The four songs that I chose for this paper are all composed by new artists that have arrived on the music scene well after the blues era ended. Obviously these songs are not a direct result of the blues era. However, I think that each of them embodies the core qualities of blues music. I believe a huge part of the blue’s genre involves the central themes of loss, depression, and loneliness. Although the actual era in which blues music…

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Effects of Music on Teenagers

Every teenager who listens to music interprets the lyrics in a different way. Some people take out a deeper meaning from the lyrics, even going to the point of saying that music “saves their lives”. Music holds a powerful effect on an individual because it can stimulate and provoke multiple responses—physiological, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral. But, every genre of music gives its own message to teenagers. Some may enforce positive actions, while some condone negative actions. Rap has the negative…

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Sonny’s Blues

James Baldwin’s fictional story, Sonny’s Blues, is a short tale between two brothers who grew up in Harlem – a place where drugs are known to destroy lives of many young people. The narrator’s brother, Sonny, is one of those young people addicted to drugs and the narrator got the news that his brother was imprisoned for illegal possession of heroin. Even though the narrator became worried about his brother’s bleak future because of drug addiction, the narrator did not…

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