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Blues Music Facts

Updated February 21, 2017

Blues music originated in the United States. There is very little documentation about the exact beginnings of blues, although anecdotal evidence places its beginnings in the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. Blues has had a tremendous influence on the music of the United States.

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Blues music is based around a musical blues progression. The most common is a 12-bar blues, where the same three chords are used in a 12-bar-long repeating pattern. There are also variations like the 16-bar blues.


The first recordings of blues music were from the early twentieth century, and the style seems to have originated in the deep south of the United States. It is a direct descendant of the field hollers and call-and-response that slaves in the United States used in pre-Civil War America.

Famous Names

Some of the most notable early blues musicians were Jelly Roll Morton, W.C. Handy, Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. Later artists include Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn.


There are several variations on blues style, mostly based on the geographical region the style originated in. Chicago Blues, Delta Blues, Texas Blues and Blues Rock are the four major kinds.


Blues music had a major influence over twentieth century music. Rhythm and blues, soul, jazz, zydeco and even rock and roll were all influenced by the blues style.

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About the Author

Josie Myers

Josie Myers has been a freelance writer and tutor since 2008. A mother of three, she was a pre-kindergarten teacher for seven years, is a Pennsylvania-certified tree tender and served as director of parks in her local municipality. Myers holds a Bachelor of Arts in music and business from Mansfield University and a Master of Arts in English from West Chester University.

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