The sixth Southern musician to be examined in this series of What Makes This Musician Great will be a bluesman that was so good he became a ghost story – Robert Johnson.
The Blues is probably the most significant musical form created anywhere in the world in the 20th century, and it absolutely came straight out of the Mississippi Delta, which is the floodplain area of the Mississippi River that extends into Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. “The Blues” is actually two different things – “Blues” refers to a major genre of American music, and “12-bar Blues” refers to the structural form of “The Blues,” which can be applied to music composed in practically every other genre and style available. Obviously, Blues songs are in 12-bar Blues form, but so are many Rock songs, Jazz songs, Country songs, Tejano songs, Cajun songs, etc. Someone could even compose an opera aria in a 12-bar Blues form if they wished.
The Blues evolved from Black field songs and work songs in Dixie around the turn of the 20th century.
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