Ethics of Blues
Blues are a genre of music that crosses over a variety of inner feelings and other music styles. Blues music is expressed in songs whose main theme expresses longing for a better life and success in different walks of life. Most philosophers have noted that blue music enhances happiness to people who either perform or listen to such music. The essay examines the various ethics of blues and suggests that blues are essential in human lives. Certainly, this goes in line with Friedrich Nietzsche quote is his, twilight of the idols, that, in fact, life would be a mistake without music (Nietzsche).
The blues refers to black American music that dates back in the early 1920s after the migration of the black Americans from the rural south to the urban north of the country. It is thought that most of the antecedent black America’s famous musicians were the blue singers. In the mid 1920s, country blues were recorded by male singers accompanied by guitars and piano. Later on, after the great depression in the United States of America, electrified instrumentation was incorporated in the music. In the modern world, blues have become part and parcel of human lives and its theme has not changed despite the development of various modern instruments.
The blues music is different from other genres since it arouses the emotional feelings of the listener as well as the performer. Most blues music portrays sadness as beauty thereby drawing the listener’s inner feelings to a great extent. The performers may beautify their life sorrows thereby beautifying their own lives. On the other hand, the listeners can also beautify their life stories which may be viewed by others as a source of sorrow. In essence, the listeners of blues can overcome their sadness by understanding that sorrow is part of their lives. By so doing, the listeners of such music develop a positive attitude towards sadness that they face in their day to day lives. A perfect example would be singers who sing about their lost loved ones. Indeed, this should be perceived as a source of sadness to the various groups in the contemporary society. As a result of this, the listeners may be emotionally affected by such songs and even feel mercy to the singer and therefore, transform their minds in that they may not like to undergo such traumas in their lives. As a consequence of this, they may not prefer to hurt their loved ones.
Consequently, blues may portray a sense of beauty. The term beauty may be ambiguous and therefore, mean differently at different scenarios. In man’s daily live, beauty is associated with qualities that please human beings such as shape, color and appearance that gladdens dazzling human senses. Almost every listener of blues music would be enticed by the beauty of musicians ranging from their personal appearance to the beauty in their voices. However, it is difficult to define the term beauty. Several philosophers have tried to define the term including the famous philosopher, Plato, who outlined the three detrimental characteristics of beauty as proportion, harmony and unity.
The philosopher indicates that for human life to be beautiful, then the three characteristic are of paramount importance. In line with this, there should be sorrow so as to bring about proportionality in life. In fact, without sorrow, there would be disharmony and lack of unity in human life. Therefore, sorrow is beneficial in human lives because it brings sadness that brings about the proportion in ones life. Aristotle brings yet another view of beauty such that, a beautiful life requires any of the three qualities: Order, symmetry and definiteness. According to Aristotle, a beautiful life requires sadness so as to bring about order and symmetry. In essence, the two philosophers suggest sadness as part and parcel of human life which necessitates beauty in ones life.
The listeners of blues may be interested in the beauty of the musician of such songs and may even like to emulate them and therefore, enabling them to perceive life in a positive way. Although some musicians may concentrate on the theme of sadness, others may portray beauty thereby enable the listeners to understand that life is not only about sadness but also beauty. This brings about proportionality hence unity which is paramount in human life. This goes in line with the fact that; it is right to be sad.
Importance of Blues
In line with the characteristics of aesthetic activities, blues music seem to fulfill the various characteristics as outlined by the various philosophers. As a result, they deem to be helpful to human beings in general. One of such importance is that they give room for individuals across the globe to nurture their talents and abilities through music. In an effort to validate this, most musicians make use of their inborn abilities thereby coming up with unusually beautiful blues without necessarily imitating other musicians in the world.
Secondly, blues enable individuals to cope up with their current problems. As earlier mentioned in the background information, blues might have originated from the African Americans who were in fact, slaves. They used blues in particular to cope up with the problems they were facing and to some extent; they would use this music to communicate hidden information to other slaves on where to get assistance.
Besides, through imagination, blues imitates real life experiences that man faces in his day to day activities thereby forming an indisputable part of his life. Blues enable individuals to understand the fact that life is all about ups and downs, and that sorrows prevails in man’s life, which they should view in a positive manner.
Consequently, there is a relationship between beauty, goodness and truth. Most philosophers believe that the three go hand in hand. According to John Keat, beauty is truth, and the reverse is also true. Blues have beauty and as such truth in themselves. They convey true messages about man’s daily activities including suffering, poverty and even love. The music enables man to cope up with the various miseries of life. In the early days, blues were used by the black Americans to convey messages on how they were suffering as slaves and convey hidden information on how the slaves would possibly get assistance. Indeed, this was a clear picture of what was happening at such periods of time. As noted on and on in the essay, blues give a clear picture of what happens in man’s daily lives. It portrays the true reality in man’s life, true sadness hence a sense of beauty. From the above deliberations, it would be right to note that blues are unique from other genres such that they enable individuals to view beauty in two dimensions; when we are sad and when we are happy (Wiley).
Key Benefits of Blues Music
As earlier outlined in the essay, blues music plays a significant role in human life. The blues musicians arouse inner feelings of the listeners whether wicked or good. However, the blues music enables the listeners to see sadness as beautiful hence helps them to cope up with their day to day encounters. In fact, the writer of this paper would paraphrase, Friedrich’s quotes and say that indeed, without blues music, life would a mistake.
Besides, blues enable man to get interested in them day in day out. This is because; these songs are produced on a daily basis depending on the various issues facing man. In the contemporary society, most blues songs may concentrate on love. This is because the musicians understand the current issues affecting man. The blues help man to cope up with the situations at hand. In case of issues pertaining poverty and suffering, man sees beauty in such issues instead of viewing them from a negative perspective.
The significance of the blues music to the African Americans cannot be undermined. During the early 1900, the black Americans were undergoing oppression through slavery. Indeed, the blues music enabled them to cope with such problems and at times could use blues music to convey hidden messages so as to enable the slaves understand where they would get assistance.
Blues music is of paramount importance to the black Americans who have over the years been discriminated by the whites in America. Racial discrimination is a form of sorrow to the black Americans but; the blues music enables them to see beauty in such sorrows however, painful it may be. It brings about the proportion in life as well as harmony and unity as indicated earlier in the essay. This is because; the black Americans view the sorrow of racial discrimination in a positive manner thereby able to cope up with it (Henry).
Blue Songs and Musicians
Since the birth, of blues music by the Black Americans, several types of blues have been performed by various blues musicians. In the first place; delta blues commonly known as original blues performed by Robert Johnson and Lead belly. Other types of blues include; Texas blues, Mephis blues, Detroit blues and the blues rock.
To this end, it is crystal clear that, in fact, blues are pivotal in man’s life. The blues are unique music genres that enable human beings to see sadness as having beauty in it. The music enables individuals to cope up with the current issues they are facing whether bad or good. In order to attest to this, the black Americans used this music style to overcome problems of slavery back in the 1920s. Instead of seeing this as bad, they would view it as beauty thereby bringing about unity and harmony among themselves. The most common types of blues include the delta blues, Texas blues, Mephis blues and blues rock. The writer of the essay strongly believes that blues music form an exceptionally paramount part in human lives.
Henry, D. The Sigificance of Blues for American History. The Negro History (2005): 1-5.Print.
Nietzsche, F. Goodreads. 12 Jan. 2012.web 11 05 2012. <http://www.goodreads.com/ Wiley, John. Blues-Philosophy for Everyone. USA: John Wiley and Son Ltd, 2012.Print.