Blues music began in the southern states of USA among the slaves imported from Africa. Blues music has roots in African traditions, cotton fields worksongs and field hollers and spirituals. Blues has been called, not unjustifiably, the basis for jazz and rock. The classic and traditional 12-bar blues with its three chords affords space for call and response between the voice and the instrument, as well as improvisation. This was a blueprint for rock ’n’roll, and the basic starting point for some jazz.
Authentic blues has a sincere emotional ring, direct and without fancy wrapping. Having 'the blues' can be feeling melancholy, loss, longing and the injustice of fate, and the music expresses all that in a simple tale with a clear point. The instruments most frequently heard in traditional, acoustic blues are guitar, slide guitar, mouth organ and piano. Blues has many subdivisions: Delta blues, folk blues, country blues, urban blues and blues rock, to name but a few.