Blues Music Genre List

The most comprehensive list of Alternative Music genres available on the Internet

The Music Genres List site covers many of the most popular styles of blues music, we hope this becomes the definitive list of blues music genres on the Internet, send an email to add @ musicgenreslist dot com if you feel any blues music genres are missing and we’ll add to complete the music list.

  • Blues
    • Acoustic Blues
    • Chicago Blues
    • Classic Blues
    • Contemporary Blues
    • Country Blues
    • Delta Blues
    • Electric Blues

What comes to mind when you think about the blues? We use the English term ‘blue’ to mean sad, depressed, or upset about something. It’s only natural that blues music evokes these types of sensations, but this harmonic genre is also emotional in a myriad of other ways.

No matter what you imagine when you think of the blues, it’s sure to be meaningful, and there’s a great reason why that’s true. The blues, as a genre, has a deep and unapologetic past, touching people in every stage of life.

Blues lyrics tend to touch on adversity and intimately personal situations. It’s about more than just self-pity or reminisces. It’s music that signifies overcoming bad luck, telling people how you feel, letting loose, and having fun.

America was given the blues music genre in the nineteenth century by African Americans, a people group who had been victims of slavery and if they were now free, they were the descendants of slaves with many rich stories to tell of their ancestors.

The appearance of the blues in the late nineteenth century coincided with the transition from slavery to sharecropping in many parts of the country. The change from spirituals performed by groups to individuals performing the blues mirrored the newly acquired freedom of the African American people. It was shaped by their desire to develop an identity of their own, apart from the way white people and other slave owners had viewed them up until that point.

The general perception is that this type of music evolved over time with deep roots in chants, spirituals, work songs, hymns, and drum music. Many people mistake jazz for the blues, or confuse the genres, but they are poles apart.

A call-and-response pattern characterizes the genre. Blues scales and chord progressions are distinct. Twelve-bar progression is the most common.

Sad notes are characterized by thirds, fifths, and sevenths, and are essential to the sound. The distinct rhythm comes from a walking bass or shuffle, and it reinforces the groove with the repetitive nature of the music.

The first blues sheet music was published in 1908, but it originated much earlier. It was partly due to the racial discrimination of U.S. society and the widespread illiteracy of the African American people.

The blues finally made it onto paper in 1908 and into the recording studio soon after. Before these events, there were reports of blues performed in the South around the turn of the twentieth century.

The blues were not as prevalent as in the Deep South until much later. In the 1930s and 1940s, the blues began its westward and northward journey across the nation. It evolved as it moved through different parts of the country.

In Chicago and many other urban areas, it was electrified. The lines began to blur into blues and jazz hybrids, giving way to rock and roll, and eventually to rhythm and blues.

Nobody invented the blues. It evolved with time, historical events, people, culture, and location. Origination claims are ubiquitous, but these individuals merely perfected a version of what they thought the blues should represent.

Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charlie Patton, and Leadbelly were pioneers of the blues in the Deep South, but as it spread, artists from other genres began to make their mark on the music as well.

Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker started the electric blues movement, while Louis Jordan mixed swing music with the blues to create something fun and danceable. Other names that younger generations will recognize are Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, and Bob Dylan.

The 1960s and 1970s saw the blues enter mainstream popular music with performances by white artists like the Beatles and Elvis Presley. The 1980s also saw a resurgence of interest in blues music.

Today, the blues is just as strange, rich, and powerful as ever. A new generation of people may not be as interested in it as they once were. If they listen closely, though, they’ll find its indelible roots in the music they love today.