The blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on a
pentatonic scale as well as a characteristic twelve-bar chord
progression. The form evolved in the United States in the communities
of former African slaves from spirituals, praise songs, field hollers,
shouts, and chants. The use of blue notes and the prominence of
call-and-response patterns in the music and lyrics are indicative of
the blues' West African pedigree. The blues has been a major influence
on later American and Western popular music, finding expression in
ragtime, jazz, big band, rhythm and blues, rock and roll and country
music, as well as conventional pop songs and even modern classical
music. The phrase the blues is a synonym for having a fit of the blue
devils, meaning low spirits, depression and sadness.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas à Becket (pictured) was slain in his
own cathedral on orders from Henry II of England.
The Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States, becoming the
state of Texas.
The United States Army killed over 400 members of the Great Sioux
Nation at the Wounded Knee Massacre.
Sun Yat-sen was elected the first President of the Republic of China.
The Irish Free State was replaced by a new state called Ireland when a
new constitution was adopted.
Wikiquote of the day:
"If I am shot at, I want no man to be in the way of the bullet." --