Blues Performance Evaluation
Students will listen to a performance of “Backwater Blues” performed by Bessie Smith and answer analysis questions in the Student Booklet. You can find the song on multiple websites like YouTube or Spotify. The song should be played at least five times during the Part 1 (30-minute) time frame.
In Part 1 the students will work on the analysis worksheet while listening to the song. They will be asked to describe the lyrics, the chord progression, the rhythm, and the meter. Then, on a second worksheet, students will consider those key musical elements of a blues song and write a short paper that reflects on the success of this particular performance. Using musical terminology, the students will justify whether they believe it was an effective blues song performance and will support their papers with at least five reasons.
This item has been voluntarily field-tested by Michigan teachers with a non-representative sample of students.
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