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Luc Sante “The Invention of the Blues” and John Jeremiah Sullivan “Unknown Bards” Essay


The works by Luc Sante and Jeremiah Sullivan provide new ideas and knowledge about the origin of the blues as a music genre. Personally, I have found the article “The Invention of the Blues” by Sante important because it explains in details the origin of the music genre. Historians and scholars have tried to understand when and where the music genre began. Sante informs the reader that “the blues” emerged as a deliberate decision by artists who decided to use different experimentations to come up with the type of music[1].

Soon, “the blues” became a common type of music in the South. Many musicians and artists took up the genre and expanded it to suit their personal expectations. This made it easier for the genre to become an important part of human emotions. Artists used the genre to portray certain emotions such as fury, defiance, heartbreak, sarcasm, and even delirium.

The readings explain how there have been numerous accusations and assumptions about the development of “the blues”. In the mid 1900s, the whites were fascinated with “the blues” forcing many people to believe that the music represented a sort of colonial overtone or sentimentalism. From a personal perspective, I will say that the readings have equipped me with adequate ideas and knowledge about the origin of “the blues” and their cultural significance[2].

I have also understood that the music genre developed through what the author calls reduction method. This explains why there is no attachment between the genre and human suffering, slavery or colonialism. The other thing that has interested me from the reading is the unique position and role played by blues today. The music has a strong emotional attachment. This explains its appropriateness as an important American music.

The article “Unknown Bards” by Sullivan portrays similar ideas. In the work, the author examines the unique history of “the blues” in a very intelligent manner.

One interesting thing from the readings is that they explore the nature and sweetness of the blues music[3]. The author is keen to portray the relationship between old music and its emotional attachment. The articles explain how different things such as emotions and transparency are critical attributes of music. The music entertains the audience while connecting the people to their parents and relatives.

The readings have also taught me the importance of examine our situations and relationships with other people. This is definitely one of the best ways to come into terms with themselves and others. Music is a powerful tool that brings together emotions and human experiences. The readings give the reader a wider view of the development of “the blues” as an important genre today.

This explains why there is no single reason that might have led to the invention of “the blues” music. I personally find these readings helpful because they offer succinct ideas regarding the origin, nature, and values of “the blues”. This is an opportunity for people to examine the ideas presented in the readings thus appreciating the genre. This is necessary because the genre is diverse and inclusive[4].

Music is a source of encouragement to many people. Although the authors fail to articulate most of the presentations for the average reader, I would conclude by stating that I have gained much knowledge about “the blues” as an important genre today.

Reference List

Sante, Luc. “The Invention of the Blues.” In The Genius of Blues, edited by Lawrence Cohn, 177-206. New York: Abbeville Press, 1994.

Sullivan, John. “Unknown Bards”. In Pulphead: Essays, edited by John Jeremiah Sullivan, 253-277. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011.

Footnotes

  1. Luc Sante. “The Invention of the Blues.” In The Genius of Blues, edited by Lawrence Cohn, 177-206. (New York: Abbeville Press, 1994), 205.
  2. John Sullivan. “Unknown Bards”. In Pulphead: Essays, edited by John Jeremiah Sullivan, 253-277. (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), 259.
  3. John Sullivan. “Unknown Bards”. In Pulphead: Essays, edited by John Jeremiah Sullivan, 253-277. (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), 263.
  4. Luc Sante. “The Invention of the Blues.” In The Genius of Blues, edited by Lawrence Cohn, 177-206. (New York: Abbeville Press, 1994), 206.
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IvyPanda. (2019, April 11). Luc Sante "The Invention of the Blues" and John Jeremiah Sullivan "Unknown Bards". Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/luc-sante-the-invention-of-the-blues-and-john-jeremiah-sullivan-unknown-bards/

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"Luc Sante "The Invention of the Blues" and John Jeremiah Sullivan "Unknown Bards"." IvyPanda, 11 Apr. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/luc-sante-the-invention-of-the-blues-and-john-jeremiah-sullivan-unknown-bards/.

1. IvyPanda. "Luc Sante "The Invention of the Blues" and John Jeremiah Sullivan "Unknown Bards"." April 11, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/luc-sante-the-invention-of-the-blues-and-john-jeremiah-sullivan-unknown-bards/.


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IvyPanda. "Luc Sante "The Invention of the Blues" and John Jeremiah Sullivan "Unknown Bards"." April 11, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/luc-sante-the-invention-of-the-blues-and-john-jeremiah-sullivan-unknown-bards/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Luc Sante "The Invention of the Blues" and John Jeremiah Sullivan "Unknown Bards"." April 11, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/luc-sante-the-invention-of-the-blues-and-john-jeremiah-sullivan-unknown-bards/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Luc Sante "The Invention of the Blues" and John Jeremiah Sullivan "Unknown Bards"'. 11 April.

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