Wednesday, October 13, 2010

'Blues' or 'blues'

Okay, this isn't just laziness—it's a matter of grammar that I can't seem to get a solid answer on. When referring to a style of musicblues to be specificor is that Blues (could be jazz for that matter), is the 'B' capitalized, as in a proper noun?
As in:
"She would have paid more attention to the music, but blues always seemed somewhere in the background, such a familiar part of the noise in her head, that she paid it no mind."

Or is it a matter of whether it's preceded by a definite article? 'the Blues' or simply, blues in general?

Any grammar / blues aficionado out there?


  1. I have nothing but personal opinion on which to base this, but blues should not be capitalized, and the use of an article depends entirely on context (and rules of grammar I haven't studied since 8th grade).

    It seems that if it is subjective (the blues get me down) or objective (to have the blues, to play the blues, coming down with a case of the blues) then it needs the article. If it is an adjective (blues music) then the article is not required.

  2. hmmm, yes, but in which instance, if any is the 'B' capitalized?

  3. ...that is, I see it capitalized all over the place on the internet...d'oh--I just don't know...

  4. no capital unless part of a title or emphasis,,, then put captital "B" then followed by three commas,,, i think, maybe,,,

  5. As one who used to perform the Blues along with other music, we think of it with a capital 'B', as apposed to "I've got the (non-musical) blues today."

  6. Okay, well in my novel, it's written from the point of view of someone who is intimately acquainted with Blues/blues performers. I am as yet undecided as how to proceed. The Chicago Manual of Style is no help...