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Encyclopedia > Blue note

In jazz and blues, blue notes are notes sung or played at a lower pitch than those of the major scale for expressive purposes. Typically the alteration is a semitone or less, but this varies among performers. Country blues, in particular, features wide variations from the tonic but still with the blue-note feeling. For other uses, see Jazz (disambiguation). ... Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on the use of the blue notes and a repetitive pattern that most often follows a twelve-bar structure. ... Pitch is the perceived fundamental frequency of a sound. ... In music theory, the major scale is one of the diatonic scales. ... A semitone (also known in the USA as a half step) is a musical interval. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...

The blue notes correspond approximately to the flattened third, flattened fifth, and flattened seventh scale degrees, although they approximate just intonation pitches found in African work songs; specifically, the flatted seventh may often be a justly tuned minor seventh. These blue notes are what turns a major scale into the blues scale. The same transformation of notes transforms the minor scale into the minor blues scale, as heard in songs such as "Why Don't You Do Right?". A minor third is the smaller of two commonly occurring musical intervals compounded of two steps of the diatonic scale. ... This article is about the musical interval. ... The musical interval of a minor seventh the first note (the root or tonic) and the seventh in a minor scale. ... In music or music theory a scale degree is an individual note of a scale, both its pitch and its diatonic function. ... World map showing location of Africa A satellite composite image of Africa Africa is the worlds second_largest continent in both area and population, after Asia. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In music, just intonation, also called rational intonation, is any musical tuning in which the frequencies of notes are related by ratios of whole numbers. ... In music, a pentatonic scale is a notes per octave. ... A minor scale in musical theory is a diatonic scale whose third scale degree is an interval of a minor third above the tonic. ... Why Dont You Do Right? is Peggy Lees first hit song, recorded July 27, 1942 in New York with Benny Goodman. ...

The blues scale is used in almost all twelve-bar and eight-bar blues, but it is also used in blues ballads and in conventional popular songs with a "blue" feeling, such as Harold Arlen's "Stormy Weather". The 12-bar blues has a distinctive form in both lyrics and chord structure. ... An eight bar blues is a typical blues chord progression, taking eight 4/4 bars to the verse. ... The blues ballad creates the sound of the blues usually using a blues scale and often incorporating blues standard chord progressions though often with a bridge using a different chord progression) with the conventional 32-bar popular song from Tin Pan Alley. ... Popular music, sometimes abbreviated pop music, is music belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are broadly popular. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Stormy Weather is a 1933 song written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. ...

In its earliest manifestations, the flattened third, or mediant, and flattened seventh, or subtonic, were the main blue notes. Emphasis on the flattened fifth, or dominant, was an innovation in bebop in the 1940s. For mediant in mathematics, see Mediant (mathematics) In music, the mediant is the third degree of the diatonic scale. ... In music, the subtonic is the lowered seventh degree of the scale, as opposed to the leading tone. ... In music, the dominant is the fifth degree of the scale. ... Bebop is a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos and improvisation based on harmonic structure rather than melody. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

Blue notes are also heard in English folk music (Lloyd 1967, p.52-4), but are not usually in the usual blues progression. Music from the United Kingdom has achieved great international popularity since the 1960s, when the British Invasion peaked. ...

See also

Blue Note Records is a jazz record label, established in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff. ... In music, a pentatonic scale is a notes per octave. ... Example of bending on electric guitar A bend is a guitar technique that involves bending the tone upwards, thus making the note or chord sound sharper than normal. ...


  • Middleton, Richard (1990/2002). Studying Popular Music. Philadelphia: Open University Press. ISBN 0-335-15275-9.
    • Lloyd (1967).

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