Difference between Jazz and Blues

Jazz vs. Blues

What is Difference between jazz and blues? In the variety of musical genres throughout the world, jazz and blues music seem to confuse those who listen to them about their differentiation. Many believe that jazz and blues are the same. In fact, several jazz artists were accompanying blues artists. Below this post is all about the difference between jazz and blues.

Difference between jazz and blues

Jazz music is soft since it is usually played by saxophone. Jazz emerged from the blues. The blues was followed by Ragtime and ragtime comes to Jazz. The structure of jazz music is different from that of Blues. According to Albert Murray, novelist, writer and critic, Jazz emerges, and is a form, of the Blues. He adds that “Blues is a device for transcendence …” while describing jazz as music to move “the blues” away, to ward off sadness.

The blues is instrumental and vocal music with repetitive patterns that follows a twelve-bar form. It is both an art and a genre. Originated by African Americans in the United States in the 19th century, they were mainly spiritual songs, songs and ballads in rhyme in English, Scottish and Irish. The pattern of call and response in the letters are African contributions. Blues music has been an essential feeder for other genres such as Jazz, Rock and Roll, among others.

The instruments typically used are the guitar, saxophone, harmonica, piano, drums, trumpet and trombone. At the beginning of the 20th century, blues music was performed by African Americans, while jazz was a melting pot of races. However, it was not only African-Americans who played jazz, Italians, criollos and other European immigrants also formed jazz groups.

On the other hand, although Jazz is considered a continuous influence of blues music, it is a form of musical art originated by African-Americans but from the 20th century. There is a mixture of African and European influences in Jazz music. It uses instruments similar to those of the Blues like guitar, saxophone, harmonica, piano, drums, trumpet and trombone besides the tuba and the clarinet. The Jazz has known maximum popularity especially between the 1920’s and 1960’s, influencing other forms such as rock n ‘roll, rhythm, blues, reggae, drum and bass. In this style, the main role is played by instruments, not so much by voice.

The main difference between jazz and blues has been that jazz is mainly instrumental, while blues is more vocal. There are those who believe that the difference lies in the goal of music to connect with the audience, jazz seeks to find music that is unusual while the blues provides the emotional connection sought by the listener. Since Jazz is more instrumental based, it can include more instruments in its music.


  • Jazz is a type of music and blues is a genre and a type of music.
  • Jazz uses more instruments and fewer voices compared to blues.
  • Jazz uses instruments similar to blues and also tuba and clarinet.
  • Jazz and blues differ in their origins, African and European and African and American, respectively.
  • The blues has its roots in the 19th century, while jazz emerged in the 20th century.
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