Exploring Blues Music

These materials are collected for use with the Blues Unit Plan.

For more teaching ideas, view my Library of Congress webinar. The password is Library123!

Robinson, Beverly J, and Jonas Dovydenas. Jimmy Walker, Chicago, Illinois. Chicago, Illinois, June 9. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc1981004.b48699/>.

The blues scale is a set of notes that musicians use to create blues melodies. Try improvising on these notes, and you're bound to create something cool!

The 12-bar blues chord progression is a consistent, predictable pattern of chords. Why might the blues have developed such a predictable pattern of chords?

Blues music was played by many musicians before it was ever written down. The successful composer W. C. Handy wrote down blues chord progressions for the first time. He composed many early blues pieces, such as the St. Louis Blues. He earned the nickname, "Father of the Blues."