Derived from African-American worksongs and field hollers, the blues is distinguished by certain structural elements such as the 12-bar form, the "blues progression," and "blue notes" (lowered tones). Blues had a wide-ranging influence on many other forms of popular music, including jazz, country, and rock.
With diverse early influences from blues to ragtime, jazz is primarily distinguished by its use of improvisation.
What's "Popular Music"?
The Library of Congress classes under this term such genres as rock, country, bluegrass, disco, contemporary Christian, big band and swing, ragtime, world music; African-American forms such as blues, gospel, soul, rap; Latin and Caribbean forms such as salsa, calypso, reggae; and others.
See entries for "Blues," "Jazz," and "Popular Music" in Oxford Music Online (available on our “Databases” page).
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