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Instructions​: Answer ​four​ of the following five essay questions using NO MORE than 350 words (2-5 paragraphs) for ​each question​. ​You must use at least one specific song example in each essay. ​Make sure to identify any assigned readings you use by author name and title. If you quote from a reading, provide the page number. Identify at the start of each essay the number of the question you are addressing. Use complete sentences with a clear and direct style, correct grammar and spelling, and terms from the course where appropriate. Format should be double-spaced, using a 12-point common font (Arial, Times, etc.). Submit your response as a Word document (export to Word if you use Pages or another program). Submit the document both to the Canvas assignment ​AND​ to VeraCite (also located on the Canvas assignments tab).

Questions:
1. Why is it important to Elijah Wald’s thesis to argue that "blues" in the 1920s meant a style of popular music to audiences, rather than a style of folk or art music.
2. The Blues Queens of the 1920s represent a significant evolution of black performance style beyond black-face minstrelsy. However, they also still present a racially stereotyped or confining set of performance practices. Discuss this dichotomy.
3. The 1920s saw the emergence of two broad styles of blues music - one that reflected the experience of rural blacks in the south, and the other reflecting a growing population of urban, middle-class blacks in the industrial north. Using one specific example from each, and referring to the Wald and Palmer readings, discuss the difference in musical style represented by these two genres (southern rural vs. northern urban).
4. The musical conventions of the blues are typically thought of as useful for expressing the harsh realities of poverty and racial oppression in the early 20th century. However, those same conventions have also been used to express the power of religious faith in black gospel music. Discuss how blues musical style functions in early gospel music.

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1. Attempting to pin what the “blues”, i.e. what the term means and refers to, to a particular style of folk or art music is to lose sight of the fact that the terms meant different things to different people and in different places – this is, I think, Wald’s overarching point. That is, to attempt to think of the blues as being either “the rural fold tradition [or] the urban pop craze” (p. 5) is to make a largely pedantic mistake. And the mistake is revealed in a number of ways: For one, Wald argues that the notion of there being two distinct strains of the blues is a fiction, due to the ways in which the rural and urban ‘versions’ were in fact, essentially, the results of cross-pollination by the other, “overlapping and reinforcing each other” (p. 5). Even the development of urban blues as a result of and response to Depression-caused migration from the rural south to the urban north—discussed below—was hardly the whole truth: Wald points out that “legendary rural players like Son House” (p. 5) saw their own art not as a product...

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