Presentation on theme: "The history of the BLUES"— Presentation transcript:
1 The history of the BLUES The blues comes from two other forms of music:Spiritual – a song which tells a Bible storyWork Song – sung in the fields by slaves to pass the time.
2 The BluesBorn from African musical traditions of singing songs to tell storiesDespite the name, music was not meant to be sad – rather it was a way to feel better about life’s problemsWhat musical progression is used for blues music?12 bar blues
3 W.C. Handy (1873- 1958) The “Father of the Blues” Son of a conservative pastor whoforbade him from playing the guitarLearned to play the cornet insteadHandy couldn’t get his songs published, so he started his own publishing house.His biggest hit was “St. Louis Blues,” written in 1914.
4 Mamie Smith and Bessie Smith. The first “blues” songs heard by whites were sung by lady bluessingers like ‘Ma’ Rainey,Mamie Smith andBessie Smith.‘Ma’ RaineyMamie SmithBessie Smith
5 Bessie Smith 1894–1937 The “Empress of the Blues” The most important andinfluential of the womanblues singers from theearly twentieth century.Born in Chattanooga,Tennessee; began recording in 1923
6 Listening: “St. Louis Blues,” by W. C Listening: “St. Louis Blues,” by W. C. Handy, sung by Bessie Smith (1925)This was the type of recording that introduced white America to the blues.Accompaniment—reed organ and cornetLouis Armstrong on cornetFred Longshaw on reed organ (pump organ)Call and response between cornet and SmithLyrics: Feeling tomorrow like I feel todayFeeling tomorrow like I feel todayI’ll pack my trunk and make my getaway.
7 Louis Armstrong moves to NY In 1924 Louis Armstrong left King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band to pursue a solo career in New York.Earlier that year he had married Lil Hardin, a jazz pianist.He recorded “St. Louis Blues” with Bessie Smith.Later, he founded his band The Hot Five and they recorded “West End Blues”
8 West End Blues Intro – Armstrong’s most famous trumpet cadenza 0:13 – one chord heard by band0:16 - trumpet plays melody; clarinet and trombone accompany0:50 – Trombone solo1:25 – clarinet plays asArmstrong scats2:00 – piano solo byEarl Hines, the firstgreat jazz pianist
9 New words What is a cadenza? What is scat? - a virtuosic solo played or sung by a soloist in a free rhythmic style (not necessarily keeping a steady beat).What is scat?- nonsense syllables sung and made up on the spot (improvisation!)Swee-dle doo-bee do bop, sca-rata-tat-too……
11 In the 30’s and 40’s “The Blues” found a home in Detroit and Chicago. Some of the best…Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon,Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hookerand Elmore James.T-Bone Walker brought “the Blues”to Houston, and the legendary B.B. Kingcalled Memphis his home.John Lee HookerMuddy WatersB.B. King
12 The Blues Lyrics Lyrics are almost always set the same way Five verses of AAB formThe first two lines of each verse are the same, and the third line rhymes with the first twoExample:Ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog, crying all the timeAin’t nothing’ but a hound dog, crying all the timeYou ain’t never caught a rabbit, you ain’t no friend of mine.
13 Write your own blues song! Form a group of 4-5 peopleWork for 10 minutes to create your lyrics. There should be 2 phrases, the first of which is repeated.Sing and/or teach your lyrics to the classYou can sing your lyrics to the melody of “Hound Dog” or create your own melody.