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    The Evolution of the Blues

    Photo by the Westport Library: The Art of the Album
    Photo by the Westport Library: The Art of the Album

    Blues music is a type of music that can be heard in the little things around us. The Blues are a genre of music created by African Americans in the early 1900’s it stems from the deep south of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Blues music is one that inspired jazz musicians in the U.S. Blues is very soulful and tells the story of what African Americans dealt with during the time of slavery. This genre takes its inspiration from African hymns and slave work songs that were sung in southern plantations. 

    The genre we know as Blues became more popularized in the 20th century. Musicians such as Muddy Waters, BB king, Bessie Smith, and Robert Johnson helped bring about the Harlem Renaissance. Summarized, the renaissance was an African American culture shift in the early 20th century. As former slaves moved to the big cities from the south, they began a new era. Blues and Jazz was what stemmed from the Harlem Renaissance. 

    Unfortunately, blues has declined over the years. A major reason for the decline of blues was that it became more unpopular amongst black people who were the main listeners of the genre. African Americans moved on to other genres of music such as Hip Hop, Rap, and R&B, all of which took inspiration from Blues. As these genres became more popular, listeners of Blues also declined. 

    Blues music has also evolved to what we know as jazz, rock, and roll. This genre became the steppingstone for some of the most loved music genres and artists. The Rolling Stones performed blues musicians’ covers such as the ones by Muddy Waters. They took much inspiration from blues music using it to create their own music. Even Elvis Presley incorporated Blues elements into his music along with many other early rock musicians. 

    While the specific genre of Blues is not as common anymore, its legacy still lives on in other types of music. Musicians from different genres take great inspiration from Blues and incorporate elements into their own music. It has evolved and made itself known throughout the music industry with its roots embedded in musical culture. It is good to keep in mind that some of the music listened to on a day-to-day basis has roots in Blues music. The original creators have left their own legacy in the world of music, and they are treasured through and through. 

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