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p. xiip. 1Introductionlocked

  • Elijah Wald

Abstract

Blues music first swept the United States in the early 1910s, remained a driving force in the pop mainstream for some six decades, and continues to be played and heard around the world. Once performed by neighborhood bands, street corner guitarists, and theatrical divas, blues is now routinely heard as background music for car commercials and Westerns, in forms ranging from gentle acoustic guitar melodies to crunching blues-rock. Blues has been whispered, shouted, growled, moaned, and yodeled, and played on everything from harmonicas to synthesizers. So, considering a century’s worth of shifting audiences, tastes, and technologies, any attempt to understand the music has to start with the question: What, exactly, is blues?...

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