WHAT IS THE BLUE NOTE?
"The blues scale is sometimes referred to as minor pentatonic scale or an altered major scale with lowered third, fifth, and seventh degrees. The transient use of the 'blue note' (flat fifth or sharp forth) is highly characteristic of blues music. This note relative to the tonic, is also known as a tritone, or in sacred music, the 'devil's note' which was avoided in that idiom. In any case the blues scale in practice is dynamic, it changes all the time... A slick blues lead might embellish any scale degree with repeated grace notes of a semi tone above the scale degree or below it depending if the line is ascending or descending."
WHY IS IT CALLED "THE BLUES"?
While it is uncertain definitively when and how the term "blues" came to refer to emotions, the prevalent theory is the following:
"Why is blues music called 'the blues'? The name of this great American music probably originated with the 17th-century English expression 'the blue devils,' for the intense visual hallucinations that can accompany severe alcohol withdrawal. Shortened over time to 'the blues,' it came to mean a state of agitation or depression."
One of the first recorded references to "the blues" used in this context is in the diary of Charlotte Forten, a free African-American woman who was a teacher of slaves on Edisto Island, SC (near Charleston). In December 14, 1862, she heard the sound of a slave being beaten. That day she wrote in her diary:Read More