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Many elements, such as the call-and-response format and the use of blue notes, can be traced back to the music of Africa . The origins of the blues are also closely related to the religious music of the Afro-American community, the spirituals . The first appearance of the blues is often dated to after the ending of slavery and, later, the development of juke joints . It is associated with the newly acquired freedom of the former slaves. Chroniclers began to report about blues music at the dawn of the 20th century . The first publication of blues sheet music was in 1908. Blues has since evolved from unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of slaves into a wide variety of styles and subgenres. Blues subgenres include country blues , such as Delta blues and Piedmont blues , as well as urban blues styles such as Chicago blues and West Coast blues . World War II marked the transition from acoustic to electric blues and the progressive opening of blues music to a wider audience, especially white listeners. In the 1960s and 1970s, a hybrid form called blues rock developed, which blended blues styles with rock music .

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