Blues grew out of African American folk music. The time it originated is uncertain, but by around the 1980’s it was sung in rural areas in the south.
‘Dallas Blues’, a piece written by Hart Wand, is known as the first piece of true blues music. The sheet music was published in March of 1912 and uses the 12 bar blues structure.
The blues is about tradition and personal experience. It uses an artistic expression.
Blues is both a music form and genre. Blues music is used as conveying emotions and feelings. Typical instruments that are used in this genre are: guitar, bass guitar, piano, harmonica, double bass, drums, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and vocals. The vocals are sung in a rhythmic, flat tone, close to a speaking voice, and take the form of rhyming couplets. In melody, blues is distinguished by the use of the flattened third, fifth and seventh of the associated major scale. Most blues songs use the 12-bar blues AAB structure. Early blues frequently took the form of a loose narrative.
For a blues in the key of C, C is the tonic chord (I) and F is the subdominant (IV). The last chord is the dominant (V) turnaround, marking the transition to the beginning of the next progression. There are a medium range of notes used most songs of this genre, and songs are played at a range of different tempos. The lyrics of a blues song usually end on the last beat of the tenth bar or the first beat of the 11th bar, and the last two bars are left for instrumentals. The blues scale has influenced many other music genres, such as rock and roll, jazz, and pop. The 12-bar blues structure and the blues scale was a major influence on rock and roll music.
Soul music originated in the United States in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. It combined elements of African American gospel music and rhythm and blues.
Like blues music, soul music is about tradition and personal experience. It uses an artistic expression.
It was created by blending the gospel singing style with rhythm and blues and secular lyrics. It also originated from the genre known as doo-wop. Catchy rhythms, stressed by handclaps and improvised body moves, are an important feature of soul music. Other characteristics of songs from this genre are a call and response between the soloist and the chorus, and an especially tense and expressive vocal sound (The singer or musician "calls" out a phrase or saying, and another singer or musician provides a "response.“) Singers tend to improvise a bit in soul music. Typical instruments used in this genre are: guitar, bass, piano, organ, drums, horns, keyboards, clarinets, and vocals.
Soul music quite often uses the 12 bar, 3 line lyric style used in blues of the 40's and 50's. Songs from the soul genre include a lot of repetition in the notes played, rhythms, and phrases. Songs from this genre are played from a slow to medium tempo. There are a medium range of notes used most songs of this genre. The instruments uses in soul music and the way that they are played play a role in distinguishing the genre from others. Rhythm accents on beats two and four are used often as a backbeat. Different instruments take a turn at improvising the melody. There are a number of soul music sub-genres. Some of these are: blue-eyed soul, brown-eyed soul, Motown sound, psychedelic soul, smooth soul, quiet storm.
The genre of Rock and Roll (Rock ‘n’ Roll) originated in the United States in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. It evolved using the elements of African American blues, jump blues, country, jazz and gospel music.
Rock and Roll is about racial equality and freedom of expression. It uses an artistic expression.
A number of different genres influenced the rock and roll genre, some of which are: blues, rhythm and blues, gospel, boogie-woogie, country, jazz, swing, and folk. Early rock and roll music of the late 1940s and early 1950s used the piano or saxophone as the lead instrument, but these were replaced or accompanied by guitar in the middle to late 1950s. The beat of rock and roll music is basically a blues rhythm with an accentuated backbeat. Typical instruments used in rock and roll music are: electric guitar, string bass (used in early rock and roll music) or bass guitar, drums, piano, saxophone, and vocals.
Classic rock and roll is usually played with one lead guitar, and one rhythm guitar. Rock and roll music uses rhythmic syncopation The texture of a song is built up, and expression and momentum increases. Rock and roll music is based on the tonic, subdominant and dominant chords, and uses the 12-bar blues progression. There are usually a large range of notes used in a song of this genre. Rock and roll influenced lifestyles, fashion, attitudes, and language. Most rock music is played at high volumes, as well as a reasonably fast paced tempo.