However, the cultural impact of the Great Migration upon those who moved, and the cities to which they moved, was and continues to be dramatic. Griot A griot is a West African performer who perpetuates the oral traditions of a family, village, or leader by singing histories and tales. Griots typically perform alone, accompanying themselves on a stringed instrument, and are considered by many musicologists a critical African root of the solo acoustic blues that developed among African American communities during the early 20th century.
Harp In blues circles, the term "harp" is used interchangeably with "harmonica. However, prior to that road's construction, 51 was a frequent metaphor in blues songs, particularly from the Mississippi Delta region, the eastern edge of which it borders as it connects Jackson to Memphis. Mentions of 51 frequently connoted "rambling," both around the Delta region and beyond, as well as joining the Great Migration northwards for a new life.
Hoochie Coochie Man A slang term referring to both a type of suggestive dance, as well a class of conjurer or folk doctor in the voodoo tradition. However, the sexual suggestiveness of the song itself has led to an expanded definition, in which the hoochie coochie man is someone with sexual prowess and appeal as powerful as the magic of a voodoo conjurer. Hobo A homeless person, typically one who is traveling in search of work.
Though often used derogatorily to refer to such a person, it is also used more neutrally to describe the act of traveling in search of work, e. House Party Also known as "rent parties," an informal gathering at a private residence for drinking, eating, live music, and occasionally gambling, where the resident charges money for some or all of the above.
Like juke joints in the South, house parties in the North are credited with being key incubators of the blues, particularly the electrified Delta style of Muddy Waters and other performers newly arrived to the city whose styles were at first considered too "country" to attract a club audience. Improvisation Musically, the act of composing, performing, or otherwise playing without prior planning or consulting specific notation such as sheet music.
In jazz and blues, for example, familiar forms may be utilized throughout a song, but the singer may alter the lyrics to better suit their mood, and the instrumentalists may take solos of a length and direction that is entirely determined by them. Jim Crow A term arguably arising from a minstrel performer of the early 19th century, Jim Crow more generally refers to the laws and regulations that arose in the South following post-Civil War Reconstruction.
Through the mandated segregation established by these laws, African Americans were systemically prevented from achieving economic, political, and cultural power and equality. Used to refer to both the oppressive laws e. Jive A slang term with multiple connotations.
Rose to common usage in the late s among African Americans in reference to swing and jump blues music-"that's some great jive they're playing"-as well as the dance styles that accompanied this music. Also used to refer, sometimes dismissively, to the lingo used by fans and musicians of this music-"Don't listen to him, man, he's just talkin' jive. Jug Band With a likely origin in Louisville, Kentucky, in the early part of the 20th century, jug bands employed an array of homemade and found instruments such as kazoo, washtub bass, and whiskey bottle, as well as banjo, harmonica, or guitar.
Particularly fashionable in Memphis, jug bands played up-tempo popular, vaudeville, and blues numbers for both black and white audiences, and accompanied blues musicians from that era, many of whom were also members of the ensembles, both live and on recordings. Some jug band performers remained active in the region until the s, most notably Gus Cannon. Juke Joint An informal type of drinking establishment that arose along the rural back roads of the South among and to serve the regional African American population as opposed to "honky tonks," similar establishments that served the white population.
The term "juke" has its likely origins in West Africa, where similar terms mean "wicked.
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Jump Blues Jump blues refers to an up-tempo, jazz-tinged style of blues that first came to prominence in the mid- to late s. Usually featuring a vocalist in front of a large, horn-driven orchestra or medium-sized combo with multiple horns, the style is earmarked by a driving rhythm, intensely shouted vocals, and honking tenor saxophone solos-all of those very elements a precursor to rock 'n' roll. The lyrics are almost always celebratory in nature, full of braggadocio and swagger.
Killing Floor Literally, the location in a slaughterhouse where animals are killed prior to processing. Levee Camps Levee camps arose throughout the post-Civil War South as large numbers of manual laborers typically African American were gathered, sometimes by force, to build and maintain systems of earthen levees that held rivers in their channels, thus making more farmland available and theoretically minimizing the hazards of annual flooding.
Frequent locations of group work-song singing and solo field hollers, they were notoriously difficult and violent places to make a living. They were natural destinations, as well, for traveling musicians, who sought the money of workers enjoying their fleeting and hard-earned pay. Louisiana Blues A looser, more laid-back, and percussive version of the Jimmy Reed side of the Chicago sound, Louisiana blues has several distinctive stylistic elements to distinguish it from other genres.
The guitar work is simple but effective, heavily influenced by the boogie patterns used on Jimmy Reed singles, with liberal doses of Lightnin' Hopkins and Muddy Waters thrown in for good measure.
Unlike the heavy backbeat of the Chicago style, its rhythm can be best described as "plodding," making even up-tempo tunes sound like slow blues simply played a bit faster. The production techniques on most of the recordings utilize massive amounts of echo, giving the performances a darkened sound and feel, thus coining the genre's alternate description as "swamp blues.
Maxwell Street From the early s until its relocation in the mids, the weekend open-air market along Chicago's Maxwell Street was a frequently changing urban milieu where one could find everything from used and new merchandise, to food, religion, and live music. It was a particularly important location for new immigrants to the city seeking employment, entertainment, and the familiarity of customs and people from "back home.
Memphis Blues A strain of country blues all its own, Memphis blues gives the rise of two distinct forms: the jug band playing and singing a humorous, jazz-style of blues played on homemade instruments and the beginnings of assigning parts to guitarists for solo lead and rhythm, a tradition that is now part and parcel of all modern day blues-and rock 'n' roll-bands.
The earliest version of the genre was heavily tied to the local medicine show and vaudeville traditions, lasting well into the late s.
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The later, post-World War II version of this genre featured explosive, distorted electric-guitar work, thunderous drumming, and fierce, declamatory vocals. New Orleans Blues Primarily but not exclusively piano and horn-driven, New Orleans blues is enlivened by Caribbean rhythms, an unrelenting party atmosphere, and the "second-line" strut of the Dixieland music so indigenous to the area. There's a cheerful, friendly element to the style that infuses the music with a good-time feel, no matter how somber the lyrical text. The music itself uses a distinctively "lazy" feel, with all of its somewhat complex rhythms falling just a hair behind the beat.
But the vocals can run the full emotional gamut from laid-back crooning to full-throated gospel shouting, making for some interesting juxtapositions, both in style and execution. Oral Culture Conventionally, oral culture is understood to mean any and all traditions that are sustained within and between generations strictly through the spoken as opposed to written word, such as stories, tales, and songs.
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Panama Limited With the exception of a few years during the depression, the "Panama Limited" was, during the first half of the 20th century, the most luxurious of the Illinois Central's trains running the route from New Orleans to Chicago. Parchman Farm Formally known as the Mississippi State Penitentiary, the Parchman Farm was opened in and, until federally mandated reform in the s, was geared primarily towards the profitable production of cotton using convict labor.
With little emphasis upon rehabilitation, it had a solid reputation for deplorable and brutal living and working conditions. A frequent image in blues songs from the surrounding Delta, both among musicians who did time there and those who did not, it was also a frequent destination in the midth century for folklorists recording work songs and related traditions in an effort to trace the development of the blues.
Piedmont Blues Piedmont Blues refers to a regional substyle characteristic of black musicians of the southeastern United States. Geographically, the Piedmont means the foothills of the Appalachians west of the tidewater region and Atlantic coastal plain stretching roughly from Richmond, VA, to Atlanta, GA.
Musically, Piedmont blues describes the shared style of musicians from Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia, as well as others from as far as Florida, West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. It refers to a wide assortment of aesthetic values, performance techniques, and shared repertoire rooted in common geographical, historical, and sociological circumstances; to put it more simply, Piedmont blues means a constellation of musical preferences typical of the Piedmont region. The Piedmont guitar style employs a complex fingerpicking method in which a regular, alternating-thumb bass pattern supports a melody on treble strings.
The guitar style is highly syncopated and connects closely with an earlier string-band tradition, integrating ragtime, blues, and country dance songs. It's excellent party music with a full, rock-solid sound. Piano Blues Piano blues runs through the entire history of the music itself, embracing everything from ragtime, barrelhouse, boogie woogie, and smooth West Coast jazz stylings to the hard-rocking rhythms of Chicago blues.
Race Records "Race records" was a term used by major and independent record labels from the early s until the early s to specifically label records recorded by African American artists. The term itself was not used pejoratively, but instead so that the records could be more readily marketed to an African American audience.graninfaitrepin.gq
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Ramblin' Slang term used to connote both the act of leaving a place and of wandering, particularly in search of work, a home, or spiritual peace. Roadhouse Conventionally, the definition of a roadhouse encompasses barrelhouses, juke joints, honky tonks, or any similar drinking establishment located along a road. What is regionally considered a juke, honky tonk, or a roadhouse often differs according to the predominate race of its clientele, although they are presently more racially integrated then in the past.
Sharecropping An agricultural system particularly common in the post-Civil War South, where a tenant worked a piece of land in exchange for a portion of the year's crop or revenue. For their work on the land, the tenants were supplied living accommodations, seeds, tools, and other necessities by the landowner, who was invariably the bookkeeper and proprietor of the local commissary as well.
While theoretically offering a degree of independence to sharecroppers, the system was invariably harrowing, with hard work and poor living conditions the norm. In addition, it was nearly impossible to work one's way out of the system, as tenants, both white and black, invariably found themselves with little to no money left after the balancing of year-end accounts, if not actually in debt to the landowner. Although the norm for half a century, the sharecropping system met a quick end in , when the first successful mechanical planting and harvesting of a cotton crop indicated that human labor was no longer as necessary.
Signifying Signifying refers to the act of using secret or double meanings of words to either communicate multiple meanings to different audiences, or to trick them. To the leader and chorus of a work song, for example, the term "captain" may be used to indicate discontent, while the overseer of the work simultaneously thinks it's being used as a matter of respect. Slide Slide is a method of playing guitar where the player uses either a tube placed over the finger such as a "bottleneck" or a flat edged object such as a knife blade to press down the strings of the guitar.
The Halam of Senegal and Gambia is a five-stringed plucked instrument with a hollow wooden body and a hide resonator. Two melody strings and three drone strings are plucked with the fingernails. Senegal also has a Bania ; a similar instrument but with a gourd body.
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Either of these could have led to the banjo; with the latter even the name is similar. Further east in northern Nigeria is a two-stringed lute like instrument, this time played with a rhino-hide plectrum. The goge is a one-stringed stick fiddle found in different shapes and forms throughout west Africa.
The name goge comes from its use in Niger, and by the Hausa and Yeruba peoples of Nigeria. In Ghana it is known as a gonje , and in Benin as a godie. The body is typically made from a gourd with a lizard-skin facing. A thin stick neck holds a single horsehair string, connected over a bridge to the gourd.
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