Blues is a genre of music which is famous all over the world and is one of the longest standing types of music, with the most vibrant cultures and history. Back in the 1870s was when the blues originally came to fruition. African American traditions, rituals, chants and cultural elements were primarily the inspiration and the original sounds of the blues. The southern United States is the original home of the blues, where groups of African Americans gathered when slaves were free and established their own culture and music. After the Civil War, blues music swept the nation and specifically became popular across the United States.


Though the genre has evolved, it can still be characterised and recognised by its distinct sound, including the rhythm and pattern which includes a sort of call out and response sequence. There is a rhythm that includes shuffles and heavy bass. The bass lines and the soulful lyrics, as well as brassy and deep instruments, are another defining factor of the genre.

  • Lyrics; traditionally, blues songs have a single line or word that is repeated rhythmically four times, known in the music and by those familiar with it, as the AAB pattern.
  • Instruments; the sound of the blues is made with the help of the guitar, banjo and harmonica, as well as the saxophone. It has a smooth but also sultry sound. Jazz is one of the most significant influences on the music.
  • Types of blues; Chicago blues, Delta blues, Texas blues and blues-rock are the four main types of blues.

Artists and Songs

Some of the top blues artists of all time include:

  • The great B.B. King was arguably one of the reasons the genre became so popular
  • Eric Clapton
  • Buddy Guy
  • Howlin’ Wolf
  • Muddy Waters

Some of the top blues songs of all time include:

  • Mannish Boy
  • Stormy Monday
  • The Thrill is Gone
  • Boom Boom