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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 Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Robert Plant retains the bluesy yowl familiar from his Led Zeppelin days
Bluesy. The Blues is an attitude of transcendence through acceptance, but not submission.
Such a bluesy atmosphere will accompany some great Lebanese and Syrian cuisine at the Zaatar -- Food & Arts Project in Nicosia on Thursday when the Saxophone Quintet will perform it's From Rag Time to Jazz routine.
Despite a throat infection causing singer Ollie Walter to need regular swigs from a bottle of honey, the brothers gave a raucous performance of bluesy garage rock that was easy to imagine on a much bigger stage.
YOU'LL be hearing a lot of Vintage Trouble this summer, as the bluesy rock band are supporting the Rolling Stones at Hyde Park.
There's a hard bluesy edge to her voice and that, coupled with a sound infused with jazz, strings and soul, turns it into anything but an everyday love song.
Album highlights include the opener "When You're Gone, You're Gone" which is a languid bluesy track that calls to mind the best of Sheryl Crow, but with more edge; and the title track "Lung of Love" is a poppy and melodically inviting ode to amour that's like an audible balm for heartache.
Grace's powerful vocals swoop effortlessly over the Nocturnals' 1970s-tinged bluesy rock, whether belting out Hot Summer Night, That Phone and Medicine, or soul-inspired ballads Low Road and Colors.
Of the rest of the 17 tracks (you need stamina or Red Bull here) Nerve Damage boasts a bluesy guitar solo, and soft rock shuffle It Is What It Is featured in the Vampire Diaries final.
Moonshine kicks things off with a bluesy riff that instantly sets the mood.
She wore a stunning vintage dress and talked to fans about her bluesy album Merchants & Thieves, which comes out on May 17.
His sleepy voice and bluesy piano seemingly untouched by time, Mose Allison returns with one of the best albums of his career, which has spanned more than a half-century.