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The Blues And The African American Culture

582 words - 3 pages

Women of the blues brought the black culture to a new chapter of recognition. They made blues as a popular music, and gave an opportunity to black culture to be accepted and also gave the people a chance to do something (a job) beyond the scope of plantation. They brought the blues to a performance stage and make it more universal so they can fit in not just to black listeners but also the white. Although on their first performance their blues were not considered as the real blues, because blues was considered to be man culture and in order to be able to sing the blues, a man should experience a journey mostly a bitter journey. Actually the women also experienced a journey and it was not a merely sweet and easy journey. Women had to sing from one club to another, from one city to another, they were live on ...view middle of the document...

Blues was no longer merely a personal expression but also a way of earning a living. Blues was now offered a job beyond the plantation and a glamour life that were not possible before. Their blues were considered as country blues because it was different from the classic blues in the sense of the style. They performed accompanied by a jazz band in the clubs. It shown a togetherness and was different from a solitary performance usually did by men at that time, as historian Giles Oakley said that the blues women:
frequently worked with jazz bands which, in contrast to the greater isolation of the male country blues singers, provided a visible display of togetherness. For the new and struggling migrants desperately trying to create a new community in the cities, the singer and the band represented a shared communal feeling (http://www.calliope.org/blues/blues2.html0).

Women changed the blues in the content of the songs, in the style of singing, and also in the musical companion (the jazz band which accompanied the singer). The content were still about struggle and sorrow but the central subject is more to love and the songs were some kind of answers to the men’s blues. Their make up, costumes and stage effect were meant to attract audiences. Their songs were more polished and carefully arranged. They carried the songs to all over the country, standardizing and popularizing the songs as the classic blues women traveled and had a tour to bring their blues to public, introducing blues to white audiences. Public recognition brought blues into mainstream culture. The combination of country blues and attractive performance transformed blues tradition from a personal expression of black experience to an entertainment for a broader scope of audiences; blues was now a public belonging (http://www.calliope.org/blues/blues2.html).

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