Degree in The Blues?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Johann, Aug 13, 2017.

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  1. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    Well, at least some certs and a minor, anyway. Delta State University has established a Distance Program:

    Study Blues - Academic Affairs

    From the page: "Starting in Summer 2016, Delta State will begin a new online Blues Studies curriculum that will offer certificates for advanced study of Blues music. Faculty will teach courses including Sociology of the Blues, Culture of the Blues, Blues Literature, and Psychology of the Blues."

    J.

    "I've got a Master's in Rhythm, a minor in Soul and a Ph.D. in The Blues... I'm a Road Scholar." (Delbert McClinton)
     
  2. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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  3. sanantone

    sanantone Active Member

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    They should have legal studies in the blues since so many late 60s and early 70s rock acts blatantly copied blues songs without paying the original songwriters.
     
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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  6. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    Good idea! There are some AWFUL stories about this. I remember the sad tale of Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, composer of many tunes, including "Mean Old 'Frisco" and Elvis Presley's very first release, "That's All Right, Mama."

    From the article: "In 1968, the blues promoter Dick Waterman began fighting for Crudup's royalties and reached an agreement in which Crudup would be paid $60,000. However, Hill and Range Songs, from which he was supposed to get the royalties, refused to sign the legal papers at the last minute, because the company thought it could not lose more money in legal action. In the early 1970s, two Virginia activists, Celia Santiago and Margaret Carter, assisted him in an attempt to gain royalties he felt he was due, with little success."

    A terrible injustice, among many. Article here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Crudup

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2017
  7. sanantone

    sanantone Active Member

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    Led Zeppelin are the worst offenders for stealing from blues artists, I believe. A lot of hip hop producers stole from James Brown and other soul artists until copyright laws were changed requiring them to ask for permission before sampling.
     
  8. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    Not a degree program, but an interesting course from U. of Pittsburgh. Designed for senior High School Students.

    https://www.ucis.pitt.edu/global/content/african-american-history-muslim-rootsus-blues

    A quote from the Intro:

    "Historians now believe that at least 30% of African slaves brought to the United States and the West Indies were Muslims. This lesson plan ... highlights the origin of the blues music genre as being greatly influenced by Islamic religious practices."

    J.
     
  9. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    Right. And their normal excuses - "Well, we added something to it" or "But EVERYBODY did that, back in blues days..."

    Here's a Rolling Stone recap of their top ten thefts. Led Zeppelin's 10 Boldest Rip-Offs - Rolling Stone

    Hey - "Rolling Stone." Isn't that taken from a Muddy Waters song? Do Mick, Keith an' them pay royalties? Does the mag?

    Well, my mother told my father,
    Just before hmmm, I was born,
    "I got a boy child's comin',
    Gonna be, he gonna be a rollin' stone,
    Sure 'nough, he's a rollin' stone
    Sure 'nough, he's a rollin' stone"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5RwNit_HUw

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2017
  10. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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  11. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    Indeed. From the man himself:

    "I'm the most sampled and stolen. What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine, too … I got a song about that … But I'm never gonna release it. Don't want a war with the rappers. If it wasn't good, they wouldn't steal it."

    Where's that from? Oh yes, another Rolling Stone interview. June 12, 2006 issue.

    J.
     
  12. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    Hmmm. What about "Give me a pig foot and a bottle of beer!" (Bessie Smith-1933, Billie Holiday-1949, Nina Simone-1951) About as far from Islamic as you can get! :shock:

    Seriously, there's a lot written - pro and con about Islamic influence on blues. I'll still listen to opinions either way. I've had time to examine this topic a bit (retired for 24 years now) and to listen to all kinds of music, American, Arab and African. For my money - we just don't know for sure. We don't know all that much. According to blues historian Marybeth Hamilton, "no one knows who first sang the blues, or where they sang it, or when."

    I've had a chance to learn about Arabic maqamat and the ajna (note series) that make them. Most of them can't be produced accurately on Western-tuned instruments. Those few that can are called (term of deprecation) "piano maqamat." I've also heard African guitarists, e.g. the late Ali Farka Touré, who play what's likely an evolution of the repertoire of musicians of the slave-trade period. I like it - and yes, if I listen carefully, it seems I hear some similarities to some very early blues and also to some Arab music.

    But that's subjective. What I hear (or think I hear) doesn't prove / disprove a thing. I'll leave that to real scholars. My take: the jury is still out. But I'm listening...

    "Check all your razors and your guns,
    We gonna be arrested when the wagon comes.
    Gimme a pig foot and a bottle of beer..."
    :smile:

    J.
     
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  13. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

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    "It's such a fine line between stupid and clever" - David St. Hubbins
     
  14. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina New Member

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    "But these go to eleven" - Nigel Tufnel
     
  15. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    Yeah! That Nigel! What a blues scholar! Knows ALL the greats -especially those who never existed!

    • Honkin' Bubba Fulton :cool:
    • Little Sassy Francis :cool:
    • Big Little Daddy Coleman :cool:

    Here he is with Steve Vai, teaching guitar on Berklee-on-line: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5BBw_Fi5nE

    J.
     
  16. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina New Member

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    And here he is, jamming with the late, great Les Paul https://youtu.be/09lmHPXYNks

    Like many, my introduction to the blues was early Clapton, which led me backwards to the three Kings (B.B., Albert and Freddie) and then back farther to Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf (Hubert Sumlin) and T-Bone Walker and then to Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Blind Blake and Son House. The more you go back, the more treasure you find!
     
  17. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

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    Don't forget Blind Lemon Pledge.
     
  18. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    Yeah - but they're a group, not one guy! Good, too! Blind Lemon Pledge - Acoustic Blues for the Soul

    I find a lot of "blues names" poetic, but the one that really strikes a chord with me (E7) is a real name: Babe Kyro Lemon Turner - the actual name of the bluesman known as "The Black Ace." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW7zxl3sdJc

    My favourite group name: "Mojo and the Bayou Gypsies," because I like Cajun, Blues and Gypsy music. These guys are fine, but nothing very Roma/Gypsy about their music. All Louisiana - all the time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGfdwbnHOpk

    Aiyeeeee! Laissz les bons temps rouler! :smile:

    J.
     
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  19. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Active Member

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    Wow. If you want to "study" the blues, the best thing you can do is learn to play the blues. Buy a piano and find a teacher. You don't need Delta state University for that.
     
  20. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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    That idea is similar to what has been expressed over in the "Spanish Masters" thread. You can learn to play the blues just as you can learn to speak Spanish, simply by practicing. A degree will add a lot of extra stuff, some of which will most certainly be entirely unrelated. It's that whole "liberal arts education" thing. If you just want to learn to play then your money would be better spent on lessons.
     

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