In many societies, music has been a way of life uniquely defining a particular society. Centuries ago, the now African Americans were taken to America as slaves. They went with a rich African musical culture applying it in their places of work like the fields. There they sung work songs, field hollers, chants and shouts. In the 19th century they were granted freedom under the American Revolution and this had an effect on their lives. They could no longer meet in the field where they sung communally they still needed a way to self express themselves.
They therefore adopted a more self centered and personalized kind of music the so called blue music. Blue music was not actually a new kind of music, but it was a new concept in music that was personalized. Much of the former songs they involved a group of people in performance. There were soloists and the respondents. However, this new concept in music was more personified, the singer responded to himself or herself. There were teachings that existed, the Haratio Alger model, and which also led to emergency of blue music.
The assumption that one self destiny was influenced by him/herself motivated personalized kind of life and therefore the blue music (McElrath, J 2000) Blue music is very important in African American music platform. Over the years, it has evolved from blue, to rhythm and blues (R&B) to the hip hop a popular kind of music in the modern world. The introduction of the guitar to the rural black habitations in the post civil war periods was significant in the emerging of blue music. They could now play more flattered notes otherwise called the blue notes.
It also influenced other kind of music for instant the rock music, jazz tunes, guitarist music. (New York Times, 2007) Blue music was not limited to anyone. Unlike other kind of music, they were not based on age, season, setting or even location. In fact, they were played by all ages, at any season, any setting for instant workplaces, homes churches. Their main target was expressing immediate individual feelings, pain, hope, desire, pride and suffering. (Campbell et al, 2004) Blue music evolution can be classified in terms of time and location.
The Mississippi Delta area came up with a highly charged style of blue music performance which was of high degree. These were termed as Delta Blues. They were mainly slow tunes pioneered by music icons like Charley Patton (1934) Son House and Robert Johnson (1937). They guitar acted as a vocalist where it was played using a glass slide. This was different from the Ragtime Blues that existed in the middle south. These blues were light hearted. The singers used their fingers especially the thumb establishing a recurring bass picking a melody that emphasized the off beats.
Blind Boy Fuller (1941) and Blind Blake (1933) pioneered this kind of blues. The religious blues is another classification in blue music. Mainly they were sacred drawn from the ring shouts and spirituals that came before them. Blind Willie Johnson (1949) pioneered this class. There was migrating to the urban centers by the African Americans. There was need to reformat this kind of music to be more attractive and involve dancing. Previously, it was surrounded by some irregularities. This led to a class of blues called the Urban Blues.
William Christopher Handy (1958) is an important icon in this type of music. This was significant to Jazz singers. As time went by, the blacks needed to adapt to the urban cities. Those talented in singing had to be vigorous. They started singing even in clubs and bars. These places are generally noisy and needed an improved guitars sound to counter the noise. They started using the electric guitar evolving blues to what was called the electric blues. This occurred the period after the World War II. Important icons included Muddy Water, Howlin’ Wolf and B. B King.
Thereafter, blue music influenced the emergency of R&B that combined Jazz and pop too. (New York Times, 2007) The migration to the cities came with its impact. The African American women popularized the classic blues. In the cities, they had freedom over rural beliefs and stands. They could now sing out of the church. On the other hand, there was need to perform in entertainment, theaters clubs and dance halls. Women therefore started performing in these places. 1920s was significant for this kind of blues after Mimic Smith’s recorded ‘crazy blues’ which motivated other classical blues singers.
(Arc Catalging Genre Help sheet, 2002) The classical blues popularity declined with the rise of the country blues. The success of classical blues motivated recording companies to market more as those recording classical music made a lot of profits. There emerged competent male singers taking over the blue music field. (Chart communication Inc, 2006) Like any other kind of music, the blues have had an impact in the previous society, the present and will continue to the generations to come. Far from influencing the emergency of R&B music and hip-hop, it has changed the lifestyle of people.
Most of music stars are modeled by many people especially in their personality and fashion a base where many fashion developers advertise their products. Many people especially the youth have modeled these stars adapting their dress cord, personality, dancing style and others. Most of their video shooting incorporates seductive and suggestive moves if not romantic. Therefore it has had an influence on people’s sexuality behaviors. Due to its music culture, it has promoted drug abuse in the society especially among the youth. Some music stars are substances abuser and a model can adapt such personality.
Music has an effect on people feelings. In fact, blues are associated with personified feeling and therefore can influence crime by either promoting it or causing incitement. In history of blues, its evolution was highly characterized by performance in leisure places. It has influenced clubs, entertainment, dancing and alcohol use among other issues. (Jelsoft Enterprises, 2008) Generally, the nature of blue music has influenced not only the entire music industry the lifestyle of human beings but also other dimensions of life; economic, culture religion, politics and social.
The notion music is life is real considering its impact in the society. We can not derive that humanity is directly influenced by music and its effects that ranges from relaxation to incitement. Blues music is not an exception in this. Its popularity not only in United States but also in the entire world has economically empowered nations. African Americans economical capability has relied on entertainment, primarily on blue music. It has in turn influenced the economy of the entire nation.
The recording firms have emerged providing employment to the entire population and economically empowering the stars. The hip hop music has its roots on blue music. The rise of hip hop culture therefore can primarily be based on the blues music. It has therefore influenced culture significantly. In religion, music is one element of communication especially in it information delivery target. Indeed, most of the inspiring gospel music, the so called worshiping music, is blues. They have influenced prayers and the entire religious doctrines.
In politics, blues have been composed to send messages and inform people about issues related to politics. In fact, they have been used in political rallies to emotionally move people. In Russia it was associated with post communist phenomena’s. Not only have they been used in politics but also in social context. Blues have a reputation of being a base for most re known love songs and emotion expressions. These songs have been used in marriages, reconciliation and have had a big impact in social settings. Music impact on humanity is profound.
Their influence on life dimensions seeks its greater attention. Over the past years, the industry has recommendably been exploited changing the whole world. Pointing to the African Americans, their reputation has been characterized by their impact on entertainment industry especially the music industry, of course their music superiority rooting from blues. It is therefore worth to lift blues music, modernize them and mod it in a way that it will affect many other generations to come. We need to lift the burn that music is life and therefore, there is life in music.
References: Arc Catalging Genre Help sheet (2002) classic blues. Retrieved on Friday, November 14, 2008 from http://www. arcmusic. org/features/blues_guides/classic_blues. pdf Blood. Retrieved on Friday, November 14, 2008 from http://www. colinlinden. com/Media_Room/Reprints/chartattack. com_- _Jan_25_2006_-_Country-Blues_Runs_Deep_In_Colin_Linden_s_Blood. pdf Campbell, J, Chilcoat, L, Derby, S, Greenfield, B & Heller, B. C (2004) USA: Lonely Planet. Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd (2008) Sociological Observation: Impact of Music on Society.
Retrieved on Friday, November 14, 2008 from http://path-to- peace. com/community/showthread. php? t=23 McElrath, J (2000) The Blues and the Development of Personalized Song: about. com. Retrieved on Friday, November 14, 2008 from http://afroamhistory. about. com/od/bluesmusic/a/bluesmusic. htm New York Times (2007) The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge: A Desk Reference for the Curious Mind: Macmillan.