It’s music for the soul – melodic and sad, optimistic and rhythmic. “When Love Leaves, The Blues Remains”.
The birthplace of the blues is the Mississippi River Delta, where the black slaves worked at the cotton fields, in the evenings they gathered around the fire and performed religious dances to the rhythmic sounds of their songs. The first name “blues” was used by J. Coleman for his play “Blue Devils”. In russian translation the closest meaning is green melancholy. Yes, and one of the meanings of ‘blue’ is gloom, funk.
Today the blues is performed by both vocalists and jazz orchestras, in which different instruments seem to be in the dialogue with each other.
Guitarists, while stydying the basics of playing the guitar, practice the “blues square”, which is based on 12 measures of 4/4 size from three phrases – 4 measures in each phrase. It’s mesmerazing to hear beautiful sounds of the recognizable blues accompaniment with the slightly syncopated melody on background.
Blues sounds great on the piano as well, allowing the performer to improvise, embellishing the main melody with trills, vibrato, graceful notes, and other tricks. These techniques are brilliantly used by Denis Matsuev, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody.
An American pianist, composer, Nina Simone was an excellent jazz and blues performer. BB King is an American blues guitarist and songwriter.