This encyclopedia is devoted to covering the blues as a musical form while also exploring its historical and cultural foundations. The 2100 entries,written by 140 scholars and musicians,are arranged alphabetically and range in length from brief definitions (a couple of sentences) to long,analytical articles (5000 words). Access is aided by both an alphabetical and a thematic list of entries as well as a comprehensive subject, people, and song-title index. There is also some cross-referencing between related entries. Although the text is occasionally supplemented with black-and-white photographs, the aesthetic appeal would have been greater with more pictures, particularly given the large number of biographical entries.

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