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Difference Between Jazz and Blues Explained

There are many styles of music. All of these styles differ from each other in terms of their composition, the instruments use and the overall feel of the music. Among all the other styles of music, blues and jazz are talked about, together.

This is because both these styles emerged in South America towards the end of the 19th century. From there, they spread to the northern region. Ever since other sub-genres have also formed. The similarity between these two genres is that blue notes are used. However, there is also a lot of Difference between Jazz and Blues.

Jazz: Definition and Instruments.

Jazz is a music genre that developed in the early 20th century. It started in the southern part of Europe and was introduced to the world by African American people. The stylist origin of this genre comes from African and European styles of music. The common instruments used in Jazz are a clarinet, guitar, piano, drum kit, double bass, Tuba, saxophone and bass.

Ever since its early development, many derivative forms also developed. These include funk, jazz blues, soul, swing, Latin jazz, and fusion. Quite interestingly, jazz music was commonly played in brothels during that time.

The tone of this music might be hyper but mostly, it is smooth and easy to sway to. The musical roots of jazz come from African rhythms and marching bands.

This music originated in New Orleans and moves to New York through Chicago. The first ever documented jazz recording was done in 1917 by Original Dixieland Jass Band. It is though that the word ‘jazz’ comes from ‘jasm’ which means to have energy and spirit.

Blues: Definition and Instruments.

Blues is another form of music that originated in the late 19th century in the same region as Jazz. It is also inspired by African American music traditions especially folk music.

The main instruments used in this genre are trombone, vocals, double bass, piano, guitar, bass, saxophone, drums, and trumpet. Just like jazz, there are also many derivative forms of blues such as Rock and Roll, rock music, bluegrass, and R&B.

This genre got popularity towards the start of the 20th century. Its tone is slow and melancholic while being quite sharp. It is characterized by blue notes, set chord patterns and emotive lyrics. The musical roots of blues come from work songs and narrative ballads in the past.

Blues music came from Mississippi and went to Chicago, through Texas. The name of this genre comes from West Africa where the mourner’s clothes were dyed blue as an indication of suffering.

Summary of Difference Between Jazz and Blues:

  • The Difference between Jazz and Blues is that Jazz music has an emphasis on improvisation while Blues music has set chord patterns.
  • There are always lyrics in Blues music while Jazz can have an instrumental voicing too.
  • Another Difference between Jazz and Blues is that in Jazz music, the focus is on the whole group while in Blues, the focus is on guitarist or vocalist.
  • Both of these genres originated from South America, although from different cities.

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