Music Of The South Essay

2550 words - 10 pages

As you are driving down the road of the countryside of the American South, you see the dry fields of grass spread for miles. You turn on the radio and all you hear is country music or the blues. This is the culture and music of the South. The South has two types of music, country music of the whites and the blues of the blacks. Due to the isolation and conservatism of the South, the South had their own forms of rural music.
First, we look at the blues and how grief can become a form of popular music. Great blues singers include Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, B.B. King, and Muddy Waters. Secondly, we look at the origins of country music. Examples of great country singers include Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, and Randy Travis.
The first music of the South is the blues which is about an expression of an individual's grief while facing the world by your own self. Later, The blues was a type of music that played in the South and wasn't printed until 1912. William C. Handy was a composer who brought and promoted blues as a popular type of music and brought it to the people. Some of his beginning publishing work include "Baby Seals Blues", "Dallas Blues", and "Memphis Blues".
The blues was very popular during the 1920s to the 1930s with the blacks and was starting to grow for whites. Classic city blues was dominated by female singers. Usually they performed with jazz musicians with a call-and-response between the music and the singer. The blues was very closely distinguished with jazz because both included each other in their music and the blues had an influence towards the beginnings of jazz. The boogie-woogie, which is like ragtime, is closely related to the blues. The blues became popular about the same time as country music. Also, the most famous blues area is of the Mississippi delta region which a chordal guitar technique that is heavy in texture. The voice in blues has to be like moaning and consists of short phrases which is influenced by rock 'n' roll. Later, the blues started becoming popular towards the North and Europe which led blues singers to appear on Broadway shows. It wasn't until much later, after the blues moved to the city, that blues bands started to add the electric guitar, bass, drummer, piano, and a saxophone player.
The first woman mainstream singer to bring blues to the country was Ma Rainey. Ma Rainey was born on April 26, 1886 in Columbus, Georgia. She was known as the "Mother of Blues". Next, she joined the Rabbit Foot Minstrels at the age of 14 where she met and mentored Bessie Smith. After many years of performing, Rainey finally signed with Paramount Records in 1923. Her songs were filled with harsh realities of the blacks which include "Bo Weavil Blues" and "C.C. Rider". She was a singer who remained closest to the original blues tradition and perform mainly in the South. She recorded with some great jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Fletcher Henderson. Later, the blues popularity had started...

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