We Need To Talk About Blues Lyrics

From “12tone”. ( YouTube / Nebula )

Or why blues lyrics are more important than you might think.
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A lot of scholarship on the blues focuses on its traditionally musical elements: The 12-bar blues, the blues scale, blue notes… But the blues isn’t just built out of notes. It’s built out of narratives, and those stories live first and foremost in the lyrics. So what’s a music theorist to do? How can we talk about the obviously important role lyrics play in blues music if we aren’t willing to consider that they may actually be a part of the music itself? And if they are, what are the implications of that?

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Also, thanks to Jareth Arnold for proofreading the script to make sure this all makes sense hopefully!