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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Ex-Sky Blues man Paul Williams has already beefed up Strachan's defence by signing until summer 2004 - and Scottish international Telfer is poised to join him on a free transfer.
The wrinkly blues man handed over six bin-liners of old leathers and denims to a second-hand designer shop in London's Porchester Place.
And Hughes knows as a former Blues man, he will be in for some stick from the visiting fans.
Born Aldwyn Roberts, old photographs show him looking like a world-weary Chicago blues man in dark suits with a gray fedora tipped at a jaunty angle.
Then former Blues man Ian Richardson soared in to score with a header from a Dennis Pearce cross after 44 minutes.
At 7.30pm, Nothing but the Blues will see Sutton-based blues man Paul Cowley in concert.
A cash donation will be presented to the junior club by the Sky Blues man of the match.
But the ex-Sky Blues man insisted that his comments were made off the record.
The former Sky Blues man was in line to serve a three-match ban after being sent off for violent conduct due to a clash with Ashley Cole in the incident-packed game at Highbury on December 18, which Newcastle won 3-1.
Gregory had written off Dublin's chances of playing again this season when he sustained the horrific injury against Sheffield Wednesday in December but the ex-Sky Blues man is back in training.
The former Sky Blues man, who completed his [pound]800,000 switch from Birmingham this week, is in contention for a call-up with Matthew Le Tissier expected to be out for a month with a torn hamstring.