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13

How bluesy is Ravel's Blues actually? I would say enough to justify putting "blues" in the title of a violin sonata. A little history background. WC Handy published the "first blues" music in 1912 with Memphis Blues. The style is basically ragtime in rhythm and piano texture and uses chromatic approach tones (like G# and B natural ...


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TL;DR [Long rambling thing about blues, Paris and Ravel's Violin Sonata.] Bessie Smith's first record was released in 1923, the year Ravel started work on the violin sonata. That's 20 years after W.C. Handy - who was mostly self-taught btw - heard the guy in the Mississippi Delta railway station playing a guitar with a knife as a bottle-neck and singing each ...


4

There are some blues fake books, and they may well be of use to the "aspiring blues improviser" described in the OP. The Real Blues Book (Hal Leonard, 2011) (SONG LIST) The Blues Fake Book (Hal Leonard, 1999) (SONG LIST) The Blues Fakebook, ed. Woody Mann (Oak Publications, 1995) (SONG LIST) All three books appear to be available only in "C ...


3

Music is usually written in the key that it's in. If you feel that is D major blues, then it gets written in D major. The tonic will definitely be D, and it certainly won't have a minor feel to it, so it certainly won't be written with one flat in the key sig, - for D minor. There is usually a problem writing in D minor, as often it contains C♯, the leading ...


2

The standard notation The standard is to write the diatonic key signature -- in this case F# and C#, since it's a "D Major" blues -- and use accidentals as needed. In that way, it's similar to writing in "harmonic minor" -- you use the minor key signature with accidentals in the body of the piece. Here's an example of a blues in D Major, &...


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What does it mean to "play the blues" and what is "the scale" or key of the Blues? The blues changes are typically, but not exclusively comprised of all 7th chords on the I, IV, and V. So in the key of C that would be C7, F7 and G7. The fact is you could play C mixolydian, F mixolydian, and G mixolydian changing when the chords change. ...


1

The Blues is a strange term. It includes minor and major Blues. Those notes that are involved in both comprise nearly all of the notes available from the whole gamut of chromatic notes. Let's be more specific. C major blues notes are C D E♭ E♮ G A , while C minor blues are C E♭ F G♭,G, B♭. That leaves just a few notes - namely C♯,A♭ and B that are 'foreign'. ...


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