What is the blues?

Blues - This English word, which translates as melancholy and blues, refers to a very popular musical genre with vivid characteristics. The poetry of the blues, its harmony, melody and rhythm - all reflected the emotional and psychological state of a person, arising from strong emotional experiences. The originally sensual lyrics of blues classical compositions, describing the difficult life of the African American population and the problems that arise in the path of a black person, usually had a peculiar, non-symmetrical, three-line form that can be displayed in the formula: AAB. In the first line of the text, where the narration is conducted in the first person, the circumstances in which the character finds himself were outlined, and then, by repeating it, the situation that arose was intensified. The last, third line summed up the above or explained the state of mind of the hero.

In addition, there were a number of specific rules for the improvisation-based musical component of the blues. Built on the “question - answer” principle, it was based on the minor pentatonic scale or on the natural major, but with lowered third, fifth and seventh steps. The blues harmony scheme is quite simple, since it included only the main functions: tonic, subdominant and dominant - the first, fourth and fifth degrees of the scale. United States of America at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Already at that time, this country was considered one of the most developed world powers. However, not everything was so good and smooth in this state, and this was due to racial discrimination that humiliated the millionth African American population. Slave labor, meager earnings, the struggle for survival, lawlessness and lynching for the slightest offense - all this accompanied black people rejected by white society in their unsettled life. They expressed their heartache and despair in songs that were saturated with sadness. Because of such an emotional mood, this kind of sad tunes later began to be called the sad word blues. The origins of the blues should be looked for in those distant times when labor was imported to America from the African continent. Dark-skinned slaves were forced to do the hardest and dirtiest work. They worked hard on plantations and worked as servants of the white masters. Songs were the only consolation in the hard life of African Americans. At first, these were ethnic ritual melodies that the settlers heard in their homeland, and then, as they got used to a new life, they began to develop other tunes, such as labor roll songs called field holler, and involuntary spiritual chants called spirituals.

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