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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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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


melancholy, bittersweet music born among American Negroes. [Am. Music: Scholes, 113]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"It was a dream come true to work with these blues legends, many of whom I had played with before the making of this record," says Steven.
CHEQUE MATE: Blues legends receive Carsley's donation
DOZENS of Sky Blues legends - many of whom have not been to Coventry City in years - will be back at the club on Saturday.
Tickets are still available for the VIP experience with the Sky Blues legends on Saturday.
JIM BROWN will be appearing, along with Sky Blues legends Michael Gynn, Ron Farmer and Ian Gibson, at a signing session at Waterstone's bookshop, Cathedral Lanes, Coventry, on Saturday, November 11 from 11am-12.30pm.
EIGHTIES pop icons A-ha and blues legends Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy have been added to the line-up for this year's Summer Pops.
While one room maintains a traditional pub feel, the other is a wine bar, complete with lilac walls, high stools and prints of jazz and blues legends.
BROUGH TO BOOK: Blues legends Brian Labone and Alex Young were joined by modernday Goodison star Alan Stubbs at the launch of the new Blue Book this week.
The New Republic articulated this fantasy in its review of a boxed set of blues legend Robert Johnson's recordings, rhapsodizing,