The Leading eBooks Store Online 4,410,490 members ⚫ 1,532,108 ebooks

New to

Learn more

The Blues: A Very Short Introduction

The Blues: A Very Short Introduction by Elijah Wald
Buy this eBook
US$ 7.99
(If any tax is payable it will be calculated and shown at checkout.)
Praised as "suave, soulful, ebullient" (Tom Waits) and "a meticulous researcher, a graceful writer, and a committed contrarian" (New York Times Book Review), Elijah Wald is one of the leading popular music critics of his generation. In The Blues, Wald surveys a genre at the heart of American culture.It is not an easy thing to pin down. As Howlin' Wolf once described it, "When you ain't got no money and can't pay your house rent and can't buy you no food, you've damn sure got the blues." It has been defined by lyrical structure, or as a progression of chords, or as a set of practices reflecting West African "tonal and rhythmic approaches," using a five-note "blues scale." Wald sees blues less as a style than as a broad musical tradition within a constantly evolving pop culture. He traces its roots in work and praise songs, and shows how it was transformed by such professional performers as W. C. Handy, who first popularized the blues a century ago. He follows its evolution from Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith through Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix; identifies the impact of rural field recordings of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton and others; explores the role of blues in the development of both country music and jazz; and looks at the popular rhythm and blues trends of the 1940s and 1950s, from the uptown West Coast style of T-Bone Walker to the "down home" Chicago sound of Muddy Waters. Wald brings the story up to the present, touching on the effects of blues on American poetry, and its connection to modern styles such as rap.As with all of Oxford's Very Short Introductions, The Blues tells you--with insight, clarity, and wit--everything you need to know to understand this quintessentially American musical genre.
Oxford University Press; August 2010
152 pages; ISBN 9780199752874
Read online, or download in secure EPUB or secure PDF format
Title: The Blues: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Elijah Wald
  • News
Sound of Song: The recording revolution - BBC News
Thu, 15 Jan 2015 16:33:01 -0800
Sound of Song: The recording revolutionBBC News"Memphis Blues was hugely significant," said Elijah Wald, author of ...
The Dirty Dozens - OUPblog (blog)
Thu, 03 Jan 2013 03:34:40 -0800
The Dirty DozensOUPblog (blog)English has two great rhyming slanguages, cockney rhyming slang and the dozens, the African ...