blues


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blues:

see jazzjazz,
the most significant form of musical expression of African-American culture and arguably the most outstanding contribution the United States has made to the art of music. Origins of Jazz

Jazz developed in the latter part of the 19th cent.
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Blues

 

(English; abbreviation of “blue devils”—despondency, melancholy, sadness), solo lyrical song of American Negroes from the banks of the Mississippi.

The blues have been known since the late 19th century; they usually embody a lament for lost happiness. Themes of social protest began to appear in the blues early in the 20th century. To a large degree, the musical features of the blues were inherited from the music of the African peoples: syncopation (dislocation of rhythmic stresses), sliding, unfixed diminution of the modal scale (so-called blues modulations), and improvisation of execution (particularly in instrumental interludes). The form of the blues consists of variations.

The blues were initially performed to banjo accompaniment, and later, to guitars. The song St. Louis Blues (1914) by the Negro professional musician W. Handy began the broad spread of the blues in the Negro sections of cities. A number of the features of the blues were adopted by jazz music of the variety stage (estrada); in jazz music, the blues developed as instrumental dance pieces. The musical form and genre features of the blues have been utilized by many 20th-century composers—for example, G. Gershwin in the USA, M. Ravel in France, and E. Csenec in Austria.

S. P. PANKRATOV

blues

melancholy, bittersweet music born among American Negroes. [Am. Music: Scholes, 113]
References in classic literature ?
The tall hedges tossing in the wind, the wide fields, the clouds driving over the sky and the sky itself wheeled about her in masses of green and white and blue as if the world were breaking up silently in a whirl, and her foot at the next step were bound to find the void.
The Honourable Samuel Slumkey, of Slumkey Hall, was the Blue candidate; and Horatio Fizkin, Esq.
The high, deep, blue sky arched over Misselthwaite as well as over the moor, and she kept lifting her face and looking up into it, trying to imagine what it would be like to lie down on one of the little snow-white clouds and float about.
The coffee-room at the Blue Boar was empty, and I had not only ordered my dinner there, but had sat down to it, before the waiter knew me.
At sight of this tableau, many of the men in blue sprang from behind their covers and made an ungainly dance of joy.
In this moment of imminent peril, a Pierced-nose chief, named Blue John by the whites, offered to approach secretly with a small, but chosen band, through a defile which led to the encampment of the enemy, and, by a sudden onset, to drive off the horses.
That range of Blue Mountains now extended in the distance before them; they were the same among which poor Michael Carriere had perished.
It was in the eastern or blue chamber in which stood the Prince Prospero as he uttered these words.
There were neat fences at the sides of the road, painted a dainty blue color, and beyond them were fields of grain and vegetables in abundance.
The poor soldier fell without injury on the moist ground, and the blue light went on burning, but of what use was that to him?
In the centre of this enchanted garden Madame Nilsson, in white cashmere slashed with pale blue satin, a reticule dangling from a blue girdle, and large yellow braids carefully disposed on each side of her muslin chemisette, listened with downcast eyes to M.
And thus the wonderful Blue Grotto is suggested to me.