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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
say, "I'm strictly bluesman." He once told me, "I don't play with all them sax and extra music in it.
As the 20th century blossomed and railways, then steamboats, then cars began to link previously isolated pockets of the country, a new type of musicianer emerged: the bluesman.
Veteran Georgia bluesman Chick Willis is a sharply stinging guitar picker with a nonchalantly soulful vocal delivery.
A RARELY-seen collection of customised cars owned by guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and American bluesman Jimmie Vaughan are planned to be displayed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer (July 2-4).
Sting, Andrea Bocelli and Italo bluesman Zucchero kicked things i off July 12 with impromptu perfs as they received their prizes from fest topper Pascal Vicedomini, amid a cheering aud which included Paul Haggis, Steven Zaillian, Dario Argento and Aurelio De Laurentiis.
The remaining nine discuss the Johnson legend and legacy, a feud over photos of the bluesman, and the three-second film that some say prove the legend.
The Memphis-based bluesman's latest release is a masterful blend of delta blues, R & B and New Orleans funk!
"Music Makes Me Happy" is award-winning independent children's recording artist Robbi K's third music album for children ages 7 to 12 and features an amazing mixture of jazz, pop, folk, world beat, classical, blues, Broadway, and calypso tunes performed with an impressive array of guest artists ranging from roots-rocker Brady Rhymer to Riverdance fiddler Eileen Ivers, and from Jon Bauman of Sha Na Na, and bluesman Guy Davis.
His quest to become a musician at a later age involves instruction from friends and guitar 'greats' alike, in the process revealing much about the music world's finest figures from PJ Harvey to the eccentric old bluesman T.
She takes the tempo down a notch with the romantic, sultry "Closer to You," "Lost" and "It Would Be So Easy," and then eases into the mournful, melancholy "Easy Rider" and "Red River Valley." The Grammy Award winner's cover of bluesman Willie Dixon's "I Want to be Loved" is spiced with emphatic guitar work.
There's "Genesis Blues," which situates the Garden of Eden in the poverty of the Mississippi Delta, and Creation in the moment when the first bluesman laid the first glass bottleneck across a guitar string.