What are the various factors that have shaped and formed the blues?
How did the blues change with the migration of
What is the relationship between
the blues and society?
How do the blues affect people’s lives today?
How do the blues express a particular set
of values or ideas?
Roots & Blues
Folklore and Song
Contrary to popular belief, the blues is not music of the depressed and downtrodden. Blues lyrics take a realistic view of the world and human relationships and attempt to provide a sense of relief from the anger and frustration engendered by life's obstacles. Blues lyrics may sound sad and depressing at first, but the primary goal of the music is to lift up the listener from melancholy and provide the strength necessary to meet the world head on. Blues is music of honesty and conviction--music that provides an antidote to the ills of everyday life. Through this spirit of optimistic renewal, the listener finds humor in situations that may have initially appeared to be disastrous.
What is the meaning
of the blues?
The blues represented a way in which a people could express themselves and their difficulties as a culture in an artistic mode. The blues were how African Americans could preserve their roots and meld them together with the society they were a part of.
The blues is one of the largest influences on modern music. We still hear elements of blues music in the rock, country, and hip-hop music we listen to today. As an art form the blues connect people to their roots, and allow their traditions to be continued on among the new generations.
The traditional folklore of African Americans; including superstitions and spiritual beliefs is a common theme in blues songs. The blues are a variation on the oral storytelling tradition.