The Blues Lyric Formula
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:2/16/2006 - Routledge
By: Michael Taft
While the blues musical form has been widely studied, the structure and content of blues lyrics have been less fully explored. The Blues Lyric Formula is a structural analysis of the formulaic composition of blues lyrics, focusing on the songs recorded by African-American singers for the pre-World War II commercial recording companies. While some scholars have worked in this area, there has never been a rigorous and detailed exploration of exactly how blues singers used formulas in creating a commercially acceptable form of song. This book gives a step-by-step description of the rules implicit in the formulaic structure of the blues, with the goal of inspiring new discussion of blues lyric structure and to flesh out the intuitions of previous scholars. The Blues Lyric Formula should appeal to a wide array of readers, from students of African-American music and culture to students of literature, sociology, history, and linguistics. Blues fans will also be fascinated by this first thorough study of how blues lyrics are written.