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Former featured article Blues is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on December 29, 2005.

Article title[edit]

I've reverted the move by User:SilkTork to change this article name to "The blues", which in my view is a major step which requires discussion and community consensus here first. I'm not necessarily against the move, but am strongly in favour of the need for it to be discussed here first. Having said that, I'm personally going to be off-site for a couple of days, and look forward to joining the debate on my return. Ghmyrtle (talk) 17:29, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

I've restored to the correct use of the term as the reason given for reverting is not neccessary. See Wikipedia:Don't revert due to "no consensus", and also Wikipedia:Reverting. The blues is the form that appears to be widely used when discussing the blues. I did a little research before making the move, and I also checked back in the archives to see if this had previously been discussed. It looks to me as though "blues" has been used as the title incorrectly, and others reading the article have simply assumed that the person naming it "blues" did so because there was a valid reason which they didn't know about. If there are valid reasons for calling it "blues" then it would be worth presenting them so a discussion can take place. SilkTork *YES! 18:05, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Requested move (1)[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved back to original title. Nancy talk 10:43, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

The bluesBlues — So far as I am aware, this page has been located at "Blues" since it was created in 2001, until the last few days. Again, so far as I am aware, there has been no dispute, objection or discussion about that title. However, on 31 December, User:SilkTork moved the article, without any prior discussion, to "The blues", in this edit. After I reverted here, the article was moved back to "The blues" here.

The current article title "The blues" is unjustified on several counts. Firstly, the title "Blues" is long-established and has been uncontested. WP:TITLECHANGES states: "If an article title has been stable for a long time, and there is no good reason to change it, it should not be changed." Secondly, the title "The blues" contravenes WP:TITLE in several respects. It is not the term "that readers are most likely to look for in order to find the article". It is not concise. Guidance at WP:DEFINITE states: "Avoid definite and indefinite articles: Do not place definite or indefinite articles (the, a and an) at the beginning of titles unless they are part of a proper name...or will otherwise change the meaning..." - neither of which applies. In terms of general usage, although the term "The blues" (or "The Blues") is a widely used term, there is no evidence at all that it is any more widely used than the term "Blues" (or, for example, "Blues music"). For all these reasons, the article should have its long-established title, "Blues", reinstated. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:12, 2 January 2011 (UTC) --Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:12, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Name discussion (2)[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved Kotniski (talk) 16:26, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

BluesBlues music — I'm afraid the first discussion was too quick for me. I wasn't able to take part and give my views. Rationale for naming the article Blues music.

  • The blues appears to be the standard form for naming and discussing this topic. A blues singer would say "I sing the blues" rather than "I sing blues". The definite article is dropped when it is replaced by a descriptor, such as "Chicago" blues, or by the indefinite article, such as "a" blues singer. When linked to "music", it becomes "blues music", and is acceptable in that form. However the form "blues" does not often appear by itself. The form "the blues" falls into the same category as The Crown, which is indicated in WP:NOUN. I came to this article because of an awkward link construction on another article where someone had written "[[blues|the blues]]". However, because WP:NOUN frowns upon the use of the definite article, and there is uncertainty about using it in this article an alternative is Blues music. Blues music would be more descriptive, and avoid the possible conflict over the Wikipedia reluctance to use the definite article. We already have Rock music, Pop music, Soul music, Swing music, Folk music, etc. There are examples of music form articles which do stand alone, such as Jazz and Reggae, though with these examples there is no risk of confusion or conflict. I will notify significant contributors and WikiProjects of this discussion, and request that it is not closed for at least seven days, to allow a consensus to be built up. SilkTork *YES! 12:51, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose move. Firstly, "(the) blues" is much more common than "blues music" and this article is the clear primary topic for "blues". The situation is different from, for example, "rock music" because rock music is not considered to be the primary topic for rock (which is a disambiguation page) and has to be disambiguated from the other meanings somehow anyway. Secondly, WP:THE specifies that we only start a page title with the definite article if the article is habitually capitalized in running text. This is not the case here, which is why we use blues and not the blues. Jafeluv (talk) 13:11, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose; proposed title is overly precise. Powers T 13:34, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Neutral on "Blues" vs. "Blues music", as either could work ok and I'm not averse to consistency of naming with other styles of music. Since the above rationale includes a lot about "Blues" vs "The blues", I'll also say I oppose the version with the unnecessary definite article (and would also regard the "I play blues" sentence as perfectly normal). AllyD (talk) 16:23, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support, or move to Blues (music). To many people "blues" or The blues" (ignoring case of letters) first means depression, or some Army unit or football club, etc: see Blues (disambiguation). Let the plain name be the disambig page. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 16:37, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose no need to move it per above. You named this examples:
they have all the "music" after the genre, without it would define the first word.
  • Rock, Pop, Soul, Swing, Folk
According to Google, the term "Blues" has more results:
Blues: 157,000,000130.000.000(searched "Blues" instead of Blues)
Blues music: 111,000,000-- ♫Greatorangepumpkin♫ T 17:16, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Not surprising. How many of those 157 million are about music? Powers T 18:19, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
A Google search for "blues" turns up [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], and [6] on the first page of results. "Blues" is a well used term, which can imply being depressed, or a sports team who wear blue, or a number of other things. At one time it was a common name for downers, and some animals and insects are referred to as blues. So a Google search just for "blues" would be including a bunch of things that are not "blues music". It's likely the 46,000,000 extra results for "blues" over "blues music" would be the other things. SilkTork *YES! 18:26, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support to be consistent with Rock music, Pop music, Soul music, Swing music, Folk music.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 20:01, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
    Consistency among similar articles of course plays a role in determining the article's title, but the situation is a little different here. The titles you list are all disambiguated because the music genre has not been determined as the primary topic of rock, pop, soul, swing and folk. If the proposal is to keep blues redirecting to this page as well, it makes no sense to use a disambiguated title. That is, unless you're saying that the music genre is more commonly referred to as "blues music" than just blues. Note also how jazz, reggae, rhythm and blues, gospel etc. use non-disambiguated titles. Jafeluv (talk) 20:25, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose blues is definitely the most common use of the word. The above examples have music in the title because they have other definitions outside of music. Blues is rarely used outside of music. Most people would look up "Sad" or "Sadness" if they wanted the other definition. JDDJS (talk) 20:16, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose. If I had to choose one choice, I would probably choose what is being served currently. I probably wouldn't mind if it changed to "blues music", but I like it simply as "blues" because it is more commonly used than "blues music". Backtable Speak to meconcerning my deeds. 00:33, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "Blues" (without definite article) is a very widely and commonly used term, and there is no good reason to depart from established practice and guidance here. If there were very strong reasons, I would not necessarily oppose either "Blues music" or "Blues (music)" - but none of the arguments made so far have convinced me that such a move is either necessary or helpful. I remain opposed to naming the article "The blues" for reasons already stated. I also agree with the points made by User:Jafeluv, in particular. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:06, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I see both sides of this one, remembering that the first time I tried to find the blues on Wikipedia I included the definite article. However, a search on google books reveals that there are a very large number of important titles that simply use the form "blues". Therefore I think the move is unecessary. If a move were demonstrated to be necessary I would probably prefer "the blues" to "blues music", but both would be accurate and I could see myself joining a consensus around them.--SabreBD (talk) 09:20, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's like "Rock and roll". You'd sure hear some calling it "Rock and roll music", but the common usage is "Rock and roll". Same as "Blues". Common usage is "Blues". No need to change the title. ~ Elitropia (talk) 09:48, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. When musicians say "I have the blues" it means "I have the blue devils on my mind", i.e. "I am sad". That's why blues usually appears with the "the" in front of it. I also support the idea that Blues music or Blues (music) is too specific. I think evereybody understand that the first meaning of blues is a music genre and not a plural form. Vb (talk) 18:51, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "Blues" is just fine. When people see "blues," they automatically think music -- not colors, or mood, or anything else. "Blues music" reads as a redundancy. A disambiguation page will solve any problem with perceived lack of specificity for those few who may be confused. Further, when Black folk talk about "singing the blues," they're talking about being down -- not actually singing the blues. When B.B. King sings "Why I sing the blues," that's rather a lyrical accommodation to meter, rather than the way Black folks talk. If I'm referring to a blues artist, I'll say, "He/She sings blues" -- not "the blues." Or, I'll say, "He called me, singin' the blues about his supervisor bein' on his back all the time." He's not actually singing; he's complaining, or sad/down-in-the-mouth ABOUT something. It strikes me that this discussion is somewhat ethnically skewed as well; that is, people are responding based on their own culturally mediated experiences -- as am I, to a certain extent. I mean Brit David Bowie's song about "danc[ing] the blues"? The lyrics are just jarringly strange to me. No one Black talks of "dancing the blues" -- and I'm not sure many native-born U.S. citizens of any ethnicity do either. deeceevoice (talk) 16:18, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

"Nobody" song[edit]

Could the 1905 song "Nobody" be worth mentioning for being a very 'popular' song,yet, the subject seems to express The Blues fairly well.(click here for lyrics) SignedJohnsonL623 (talk) 02:27, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

There is a danger of over-simplification, but it seems to me that some information from this source - which mentions Bert Williams, the co-writer and singer of "Nobody", at some length - could usefully be added to the article on Origins of the blues. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:48, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Oh, dear. has anyone written or stated that this song is in "blues form", musically or lyrically in any way? Steve Pastor (talk) 18:11, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

I just heard that on UTube and, according to me, this bit might be sad but has nothing to do with the blues. Vb 09:35, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

The tablature figure is munged in Forms.[edit]

The figure below the text:

"An example is provided by the following guitar tablature for the first four bars of a blues progression in E:"

is scrambled in Firefox 5.01. It appears there is unreadable text on top of a picture? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Blues Jam[edit]

Blues is mostly based on improvisation. That opens up for new musical meetings at "jam sessions". At a jam session, the musicians get together and play with people they have not met before. This is an important element for blues music and its circulation of influences.

Here is an example of fine improvisation at a jam session. — Preceding unsigned comment added by PhaseWatson (talkcontribs) 22:32, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

origin of the term[edit]

I know „to be blue“ or „to have the blues“ like "to be sad" and I believe, blues was in origin a Lament of people in Slavery in the United States. They had enough reasons to be sad, fate of slavery, deprived oh their liberty, rapes, corporal punishment, forced disconnection of families, …

Like in „Red Roses for a Blue Lady“ or Everyday I have the blues

There are no sources about… ??? --Ohrnwuzler (talk) 13:44, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I've found Blue at Wikipedia = sadness and this source and this source or this, blue devils, blue, feeling blue. Are these sources (or the sources of this sources) O.K. for Wikipedia? --Ohrnwuzler (talk) 03:08, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

I've added the information I found into a new section Blues#Etymology. I'm not an expert on the subject so if anyone can find a better or more definitive source please add it in Jeanpetr (talk) 18:18, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Sound Clips[edit]

As a music student, one of my homework assignments is to research the history of blues. I went to the blues page here at Wikipedia and was surprised to find no sound examples of different types of blues. Wouldn't it be nice if Wikipedia used the full potential of an online encyclopedia by adding music clips to illustrate styles of music Nemesister (talk) 15:18, 5 April 2014 (UTC)Nemesister

I can see ten sound clips in the article, representing a diverse variety of styles. What am I missing? Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:21, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

New Lead[edit]

User OnBeyondZebrax changed the lead paragraph to a very long one with plenty of details which I think are not relevant to the common reader. For instance "The first publication of blues sheet music was in 1908: Antonio Maggio's "I Got the Blues" is the first published song to use the word blues." is not an information which is worth telling at this place. The same is IMHO true for "There are few characteristics common to all blues music, because the genre took its shape from the idiosyncrasies of individual performances." I think such a major change to the article should be discussed here before being implemented. I shall reverse those changes in a near future if no opposite opinion were to be expressed. Vbrems (talk) 15:12, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Reverse what changes? All of them?? The changes made by OnBeyondZebrax represented a big improvement on what was there previously, making it more informative and more in line with general WP practice on introductory sections. I'm happy with at least 90% of the current version, though like you I think that the Maggio reference is far too obscure and tangential to be mentioned in the lead. But, all it needs is a bit of tweaking, not a total reversion to the earlier inadequate version. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:06, 18 September 2014 (UTC)


Removed the entire paragraph about the plant & dye indigo as source for the term "blues." The only reference cited was a radio or tv program w/ no transcript provided. Tapered (talk) 21:44, 2 December 2014 (UTC)