The Incredible Intellectual Accomplishemnt of Black American Culture Via The Blues, “Did We Miss Something? No. 4”

The Blues has drawn near universal acclaim as one of the most outstanding and influential art forms of the twentieth century and its origins are the exclusive product of Black American culture.   Any singer, instrumentalist or listener who would step one toe outside of classical music, would likely encounter the Blues or one of its offspring. 

Few, seem to recognize the significant intellectual accomplishments of the this incredible and indelible art from. Here are but a few:

 The intellectual achievement of the American Blacks created a music which regularly tonicized the dominant seventh chord-an achievement beyond the Europeans!  

With the blues scale, Black American culture and The Blues also produced a more interesting, sophisticated and popular alternative to the diatonic harmony of Major and minor scales than the leaders of European musical culture of the time-the French and their whole-tone scale.

The limited improvisation of the Blues found between sparse secular lyrics served as the incubator of improvisation which led to Jazz and became one of the principal genres of Jazz.

The stunning originality of the Blues concept of a backbeat, which emphasis on beats TWO and FOUR, was a stark contrast to both the African and European conception of emphasizing beat ONE.  

The addition of the musical personality of the singer through more than tone, phrasing and technique of European Classical Music created a precedence which changed to interpretation of music around the globe.

The Blues takes a little bit more than “just feelin’ it”, but that would not be a bad place to start! How often, you ask?

c. David William Brubeck 2024. All Rights Reserved

Where can you go to get it? Hmm, Chicago, Memphis or maybe even…

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