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Music Description And Response Paper

1217 words - 5 pages

The Blues
The blues are songs that were introduced in the 19th century and mostly played by African Americans. The genres of these songs were originated from the northern America and attributed to African Americans. However, the origin of the blues is from Europe as English was used in the song’s lyrics and the fact that instruments came from Europe (Susan). This paper dwells on the comparison of two pairs of blues and the summary of Thinking Blues by Susan McClary.
Comparison between St Louis song and Black snake moan
In St Louis song, Bessie uses a high Pitch trumpet solo during the intro emphasizes her sadness and hatred when the man ...view middle of the document...

The instruments play at cross rhythm, and all with the voice bring out a new rhythm. There's no upbeat and happy sounding. In the black snake moan the groan in his voice speaks it all concerning his sadness.
Comparison between Got the Blues Can’t be Satisfied by Hurt and Blind Willie Johnson nobody’s fault but mine
In his “Got the Blues”, John Hurt with a courageous gritty and resolute voice expresses his disappointment in his girl.  He uses the guitar all through the song from the introduction to the end. In “Nobody’s fault but mine”, Blind Willie Johnson uses melancholy expression to tell of his spirit. Guitar playing chords with alternating base sound produced using the base strings at the intro: prelude of the song. He uses slide guitar as the only accompaniment, whereby the guitar forms prelude, a call and response pattern with the voice and also solos at times in between the piece. Similarly, in Bessie’s song, the guitar forms a call and response pattern with the voice; it also performs interludes and instrumental solos. Blind Willie’s song the vocal timbre is deep and throaty. His emotional vocal portrays his need for deliverance from his misdeeds and perceived sins. Conversely, the vocal timbre of Hurt is moderate and smoothly. Hurt uses clear and moderate vocals during every first line of the stanza and uses a throaty voice in the second stanza emphasizing his fault of being sinful. Additionally, the song has fast and quick tempo with a constant rhythm from the start throughout the end of the song. Blind Willie uses a moderate tempo with uniform fast rhythm picking style for emphasis of his admission to his own fault. Both of them use the guitar from the start all throughout the song as it alternates with their vocals forming a call and response pattern with the voice.
A Summary of Thinking Blues by Susan McClary
The blues are songs that are attributed to African Americans who used their songs to express their feelings and what they were going through in the 19th century (Susan). Blues were identified around 1900 with North American Genres. However, blues harmonies bear witness to European influence due to the use of English lyrics and the instruments that originated in Europe. Despite there being claims that blues did not start with African Americans, most writers such as Paul Gilroy and Samuel Floyd argues that African Americans working as slaves transmitted their memories and feelings through music.
Blues songs portray culture and ethnic identity. There was much cultural explosion in...

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