How do blues singers communicate emotion?

How do blues singers communicate emotion?

Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. In this lesson, we will look at wonderful blues singing and how the artist can show the emotion of the lyrics through the way they sing. We will also have the opportunity to write our own blues verse.


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5 Questions

What is 'jamming' in music?
A performance in a concert hall.
When people would make jam in a factory.
Correct answer: Where musicians would get together and spontaneously play music; more of a social gathering.
In the early blues of the 1900's, musicians did not have printed scores, how did they play together?
They would copy one another.
Correct answer: They would make up tunes and lyrics on the spot.
They would only play songs they already knew.
Which of these descriptions talks about a successful improvisation?
The notes are the same as the blues head melody.
Correct answer: The notes were clear, you can hear phrases in swung rhythm and there are repeated musical ideas.
The notes were too long, they rhythms are slow and a lot of the pitches are the same.
What is this grid showing you?
Bb major scale
Correct answer: G blues scale
G pentatonic scale
Why does a good blues improvisation use swung rhythms?
Blues improvisations only include quaver notes.
Correct answer: Blues music has a swing feel, which you can hear in the drum shuffle.
Blues music has changed and moved from straight to swung rhythms.

5 Questions

What was the nickname given to Bessie Smith in the 1930's?
Empress of America
Empress of fashion
Correct answer: Empress of the blues
What are the lyrics of blues music often about?
Blues lyrics are about friendship and partying.
Blues lyrics are about working at the weekend.
Correct answer: Blues lyrics are raw and full of emotion, dwelling on love or loneliness.
The pattern of lyrics are AAB, what does this mean?
All three lines are the same.
Correct answer: First two lines of the verse are the same and the third is different.
The last line is the same as the first.
What was often the meaning in the AAB structure lyrics of blues music?
A and B had the same meaning.
Correct answer: A - question and B - answer.
A was the verse and B was the chorus.
Which words need to rhyme in the AAB lyrical structure?
None of the words rhyme.
Correct answer: The last word of the B phrase must rhyme with the last word of the A phrase.
The middle of the phrases must have the same words.

Lesson appears in

UnitMusic / Band Musicianship 2: The Blues