Rhythm & Blues: Definition, History, Artists & Songs
No particular African musical kind may be recognized as the one direct ancestor of the blues. However the decision-and-response format can be traced back to the music of Africa. That blue notes predate their use in blues and have an African origin is attested to by “A Negro Love Song”, by the English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, from his African Suite for Piano, written in 1898, which incorporates blue third and seventh notes. The writer Ed Morales claimed that Yoruba mythology performed a part in early blues, citing Robert Johnson’s “Cross Road Blues” as a “thinly veiled reference to Eleggua, the orisha in command of the crossroads”. The repertoires of many seminal blues artists, such as Charley Patton and Skip James, included spiritual songs or spirituals.
Lawrence Cohn, writer of Nothing but the Blues, writes that “rhythm and blues” was an umbrella time period invented for trade comfort. According to him, the time period embraced all black music besides classical music and spiritual music, unless a gospel song bought enough to interrupt into the charts.
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He’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The Blues Foundation’s Hall of Fame. He acquired the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation.
All debate apart, what’s resulted is the notion””and for a lot of, the realization””that there’s an insatiable appetite for R&B. Hip-hop will be the most dominant musical style, but R&B is much from dead.
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Well into the 21st century, the time period R&B continues in use (in some contexts) to categorize music made by black musicians, as distinct from types of music made by different musicians. A well-identified big band blues tune is Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood”. Jump blues grew up from the boogie woogie wave and was strongly influenced by huge band music. It uses saxophone or different brass devices and the guitar in the rhythm part to create a jazzy, up-tempo sound with declamatory vocals. Jump blues tunes by Louis Jordan and Big Joe Turner, based in Kansas City, Missouri, influenced the development of later types corresponding to rock and roll and rhythm and blues.
African American music began incorporating Afro-Cuban rhythmic motifs within the 1800s with the popularity of the Cuban contradanza (identified outdoors of Cuba as the habanera). The habanera rhythm could be considered a mixture of tresillo and the backbeat.