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Blues Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Comparing Modern Songs to Blues

The four songs that I chose for this paper are all composed by new artists that have arrived on the music scene well after the blues era ended. Obviously these songs are not a direct result of the blues era. However, I think that each of them embodies the core qualities of blues music. I believe a huge part of the blue’s genre involves the central themes of loss, depression, and loneliness. Although the actual era in which blues music was popular is now over, the core themes and ideas of blue music can still be found all over today’s music scene. Although that style of music is not popular, especially amongst today’s youth, the fact that the messages that…

African American Oral Tradition

Modern African American Literature was formed under a stressful time for Africans, slavery. The only way the stories of the indigenous people of Africa were passed down was through oral recollections, or stories of the events. In America this was especially difficult for the slaves because of laws preventing them from learning English. By not being allowed to learn English, the slaves had to learn English solely on auditory purposes. This essentially made the slaves illiterate. When the slaves transferred the language that they heard to paper, a new style of language was formed which was referred to as dialect. Dialect is what the slaves thought they heard and the correct spelling of those words, not standard English. Dunbar, who…

African American Oral Tradition

Modern African American Literature was formed under a stressful time for Africans, slavery. The only way the stories of the indigenous people of Africa were passed down was through oral recollections, or stories of the events. In America this was especially difficult for the slaves because of laws preventing them from learning English. By not being allowed to learn English, the slaves had to learn English solely on auditory purposes. This essentially made the slaves illiterate. When the slaves transferred the language that they heard to paper, a new style of language was formed which was referred to as dialect. Dialect is what the slaves thought they heard and the correct spelling of those words, not standard English. Dunbar, who…

Sweatin’ the Blues

James Baldwin’s celebrated short story, “Sonny’s Blues”, is a poignant narration of the unique relationship between two brothers, set against the depressed and isolated conditions of Harlem in the 1950s. Much of the story focuses on the disparity of views held by the narrator and his brother Sonny, but their conflict speaks largely of the reality of African Americans at the time, translated into the music that defines their culture. “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston, on the other hand, may be seen on similar terms as the depiction of a woman’s long-suffering life with her apparently sadistic husband, as she is relegated into the stereotype of woman as workhorse within the familial context. But the authenticity in the sue of…

Jazz and Poetry

There are many different types of music in the world, and each one is different because of certain characteristics that help to make that genre stand apart from all the others. One of these genres is Jazz. Jazz is a type of music that was created mainly by black Americans during the early twentieth century, and is a combination of American and African tribal music. There are many different characteristics that set Jazz apart from every other kind of music, but there are three main distinctions; the first is its particular combination of rhythm, melody and harmony, second is the subtle differences that make every Jazz player almost instantly recognizable and finally is the way that Jazz players interact and…

Sonny’s Blues

James Baldwin’s fictional story, Sonny’s Blues, is a short tale between two brothers who grew up in Harlem – a place where drugs are known to destroy lives of many young people. The narrator’s brother, Sonny, is one of those young people addicted to drugs and the narrator got the news that his brother was imprisoned for illegal possession of heroin. Even though the narrator became worried about his brother’s bleak future because of drug addiction, the narrator did not reconcile with his brother until the death of his daughter. With this turn of events, the narrator reunited with his brother through letters and finally upon Sonny’s freedom from prison. The narrator remembered his mother’s last will for him to…

Country blues

Blues evolved from an unaccompanied vocal music and oral tradition of African-American slaves and rural blacks in to a wide variety of styles and subgenres with regional variations across United States and later Europe and Africa. The musical forms and styles arose in the same region during the nineteenth century in the southern United States The country blues has been given several names such as folk blues, rural blues, backwoods blues, or down home blues. Blues is a choral and instrumental form of composition which is based on the use of the blue notes. This style originated in the Africa – American (Black Americans) communities of the United States. This kind of music transverse wide range of emotions and musical…

Small Changes Make Big Differences

A living jazz legend once exclaimed “jazz has borrowed from other genres of music and also has lent itself to other genres of music.” Herbie Hancock makes it clear that jazz has been an evolving form of art. And just as simple as the notion that music can change the world, music changes in itself. Jazz once evolved into something we call swing. Back in the roaring twenties people got up and danced to this kind of music. However, these simple and playful melodies that everyone were accustomed to transformed into intricate music with a different basis. When jazz was over everyone’s head and people stopped dancing, we call this period bop. Inevitably, new ideas emerged and jazz musicians decided…

Good Habit

Good Habit were a professional touring band mostly from Penarth in South Wales, active 1970–1975. They had one single “Find My Way Back Home” that was released by RCA and reviewed by John Peel in Sounds. Some songs including “Ship of Gold” were recorded for Peel’s sessions. For a while the band wore green monastic habits on stage. Live favorites included Danger Zone and King of the Mountain, final numbers would be Keep on Moving and Chicken Shack Stomp/ Hey Bo Diddley. Good Habit toured with many well-known artists over the years, including Thin Lizzy, Gong, The Velvet Underground, Funkadelic, UFO, Focus, Rory Gallagher, The Who, Genesis, and others. Good Habit also played iconic music festivals, the 1972 Reading festival,…

Effects of Music on Teenagers

Every teenager who listens to music interprets the lyrics in a different way. Some people take out a deeper meaning from the lyrics, even going to the point of saying that music “saves their lives”. Music holds a powerful effect on an individual because it can stimulate and provoke multiple responses—physiological, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral. But, every genre of music gives its own message to teenagers. Some may enforce positive actions, while some condone negative actions. Rap has the negative status of objectifying women and promoting gang violence. On the other hand, rock has a positive reputation because it helps people cope with their problems and identify with their peers. Everyone, teenagers included, is susceptible to internalizing the messages they…