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I chord chord built on the first degree of the scale; known as the tonic. minor thirds.

minor thirds. major triad a triad featuring a major third between the two lower notes.
IV chord chord built on the fourth degree of the scale; known as the subdominant. discography the science of record classification. maracas in Latin percussion, a gourd filled with beans and shaken.
V chord chord built on the fifth degree of the scale; known as the dominant. dissonant the quality of an unstable harmony that resolves to another chord. march form a musical form exemplified by composers like John Philip Sousa, consisting
A A B A form the most common 32-bar popular song form, referring to melody and dominant a chord built on the fifth degree of the scale that demands resolution to the of a series of sixteen-bar strains, usually repeated once and not brought back; for
harmonic progression (but not text). Each portion is eight bars long, with B, the bridge, tonic chord. example, A A B B C C D D; the third strain, or trio, modulates to a new key (usually IV)
serving as the point of contrast. A = statement, A = repetition, B = contrast, A = return. Dorian mode a diatonic scale with an arrangement of half and whole steps (found on and is often twice as long.
A B A C form the second most common 32-bar popular song form, referring to melody the piano white keys from D to D) that falls between major and minor. march/ragtime form march form as adopted by ragtime composers like Scott Joplin.
and harmonic progression (but not text). Each portion is eight bars long, with the A double (1) to play more than one instrument; (2) to reinforce a melody with one or more measure (or bar) a rhythmic unit lasting from one downbeat to the next.
section returning in the song's middle. Can also be considered AA' form. different instruments. melismatic several notes sung to a single syllable.
accelerando a gradual speeding up of tempo. double bass see string bass. melodic paraphrase a preexisting melody used as the basis for improvisation.
acid jazz a form of contemporary music created by DJs in the 1990s, relying heavily on double stop on a bowed string instrument (violin, bass), two strings played at the same meter the organization of recurring pulses into patterns. See also duple meter, irregular
samples taken from jazz recordings from the 1950s and 1960s. time. meter; and triple meter.
alto saxophone one of the most common saxophones used in jazz performance, double lime a technique in which a jazz ensemble, especially the rhythm section, plays microtones melodic intervals smaller than a half step.
smaller and higher-pitched than the tenor. twice as fast without changing the length of the overall cycle. minor scale or mode a diatonic scale similar to the major scale, but with a different
arpeggio the notes of a chord played in quick succession rather than simultaneously. downbeat the first beat of a measure, or bar. pattern of half steps and whole steps (W H W \V H \V W); normally used in Western
arrangements composed scores for big bands, with individual parts for each musician. dropping bombs a technique devised in bebop in which the bass drum plays strong music to convey melancholy or sadness.
arco a stringed instrument (such as the string bass) played with a bow. accents. minor triad a triad featuring a minor third between the two lower notes.
art music a form of music with high aesthetic standards and social prestige, created by drum kit (or drum set, trap set, traps) a one-man percussion section within the rhythm modal improvisation the process of using a scale as the basis for improvisation.
professional artists for a well- educated public and insulated from the commercial world. section of a jazz band, usually consisting of a bass drum, snare drum, tom-toms, and modal jazz a style of jazz devised in the 1950s that relied heavily on modal
atonal music with no key center. cymbals. improvisation.
augmented chord an unstable chord made up of two major thirds; found in the whole- duple meter the most common form of meter, grouping beats into patterns of twos or modulate to move from one key (B-flat, G, D minor, etc.) to another.
tone scale. fours; every measure, or bar, in duple meter has either two or four beats. monophony a texture featuring one melody with no accompaniment. See also break,
avant-garde jazz a modernist style of jazz exploring new methods that radically oppose dynamics volume, or loudness. stop-time.
existing traditions; among the elements of jazz undermined by the avant-garde are electric bass a four-stringed guitar used in popular music, amplified through an electric montuno a syncopated vamp that serves as a rhythmic foundation in Latin music.
rhythm, harmony, melody, structure, instrumentation, manner of presentation, and speaker. motive a short melodic or rhythmic idea.
politics. electric piano an electrically amplified keyboard, such as the Fender Rhodes, capable mouthpiece on a brass instrument, a cuplike rest for the musician's lips, into which air is
backbeat a simple polyrhythm emphasizing beats 2 and 4 of a 4/4 measure (rather than of producing piano sounds. blown; on a reed instrument, the piece of hard plastic to which a reed is attached.
1 and 3). Ellingtonians musicians who played with Duke Ellington for years or even decades. multiphonics complicated sounds created on a wind instrument (through intense
ballad (1) a slow, romantic popular song; (2) a long, early type of folk song that narrated embouchure the shaping and positioning of the lips and other facial muscles when blowing) that contain more than one pitch at the same time; used often in avant-garde
a bit of local history. playing wind instruments. jazz.
bar see measure. extended chords triads to which additional pitches, or extensions, have been added. mutes physical devices inserted into the bell of brass instruments to distort the timbre of
baritone saxophone the largest and deepest saxophone used in jazz performance. extensions notes added to extend a chord beyond the triad (such as the sixth, seventh, the sounds coming out. See cup mute, Harmon mute, pixie mute, plunger mute, and
bass in the rhythm section of a jazz band, an instrument-string bass, electric bass, or ninth, or thirteenth). straight mute.
tuba-that supports the harmony and plays a basic rhythmic foundation. fake book a collection of charts or lead sheets used by jazz musicians (so-called neighbor note a note one half or whole step away; neighbor notes leave and return to a
bass clarinet a wind instrument pitched lower than a standard clarinet. because jazz musicians improvise, or "fake," their way through a performance). note by step.
bass drum the large drum front and center in a jazz drum kit, struck with a mallet false fingerings on a reed instrument (especially the saxophone), playing the same New Criticism criticism that emphasizes close examination of a work of art with little
propelled by a foot pedal; it produces a deep, heavy sound. note with different often producing unusual timbres or slight pitch concern for the cultural or biographical circumstances under which it was created.
bebop A style of modern jazz pioneered in the mid-1940s; it has become the basis for differences. New Orleans jazz the earliest jazz style, developed early in the twentieth century and
most contemporary jazz. field holler an unaccompanied, rhythmically loose vocal line sung by a field worker. popularized after 1917 in New York and Chicago; native to New Orleans, it features
bell the flared opening at the end of a brass instrument. fill a short drum solo performed to fill in the spaces in an improvised performance. collective improvisation.
bent notes see blue notes. fixed intonation a tuning system that fixes pitches at precise frequencies. See variable ninth an interval a step larger than an octave, used to create extended chords.
big bands large jazz orchestras featuring sections of sax- phones, trumpets, and intonation. obbligato see countermelody.
trombones, prominent during the Swing Era (1930s). flat a musical symbol (,) that lowers a note by a half step. octave two notes with the same letter name; one pitch has a frequency precisely twice
block chords a homophonic texture in which the chordal accompaniment moves in the flatted third the lowered third degree of the typically found in the blues. the other (in a ratio of 2: 1).
same rhythm as the main melody. flatted fifth see tritone. offbeat a note that falls in between the basic beats of a measure.
blue notes notes in which the pitch is bent expressively, using variable intonation; also flatted scale degree note played a half step lower. organ in jazz, an electrically amplified keyboard with pedals that imitates the sound of a
known as blue notes. flugelhorn brass instrument with a fully conical bore, some- what larger than a trumpet pipe organ; used in soul jazz in the 1950s and 1960s.
blues a musica poetic form in African American culture, created c. 1900 and widely and producing a more mellow, rounded timbre. ostinato (Italian for "obstinate") a repeated melodic or rhythmic pattern.
influential around the world. folk music a form of music created by ordinary people for their own use, insulated from ostinato riff a riff that's repeated indefinitely.
blues form a twelve-bar cycle used as a framework for improvisation by jazz musicians. the commercial world and the world of social elites. outside see playing outside.
blues scale the melodic resources for the blues; includes simple pentatonic and diatonic foot pedal the mechanism that propels the mallet to hit a bass drum. pedals the bass notes on an organ, played on a keyboard with the feet.
scales combined with blue notes. form the preconceived structures that govern improvisation in jazz. 1hese may include pedal point a passage in which the bass note refuses to move, remaining stationary on
blue third the lowered third degree of the scale, featured in the blues. cycles of various kinds, popular song (like A ABA}, or compositional forms such as a single note.
bongos in Latin percussion, an instrument with two drumhead&, one larger than the march/ ragtime. pedal tone the bass note that creates a pedal point.
other, compact enough to sit between the player's knees. forte a loud dynamic. pentatonic scale a scale of five notes; for example, C D E G A. percussion in the
boogie-woogie a blues piano style in which the left hand plays a rhythmic ostinato of foundation layers continuous, unchanging patterns whose very repetition provides a rhythm section of a jazz band, the drums, cymbals, congas, and other instruments that
eight beats to the bar. framework for a musical piece. are struck to provide the music's rhythmic foundation.
bossa nova "new flair"; Brazilian form of samba music. free improvisation improvisation in an atonal context, where the focus shifts from phrase a musical utterance that's analogous to a sentence in speech.
bottleneck guitar guitar played with a glass slide over the finger to create a glissando harmony to other dimensions of music: timbre, melodic intervals, rhythm, and the phrasing the manner of shaping phrases: some musicians play phrases that are short
effect. interaction be- tween musicians. and terse, while others are garrulous and intense.
bow a string instrument, such as a string bass, played by drawing a bow with horsehair free rhythm music that flows through time without regularly occurring pulses. piano a stringed keyboard instrument on which a pressed key triggers a hammer to
across the strings; also known as areo. frequency the vibrations per second of a musical note. strike strings; a standard part of the rhythm section.
brass instruments wind instruments, some of which are indeed made of brass, that usefront the nominal star of a jazz band, but not its leader or music director. piano a soft dynamic.
a cuplike mouthpiece to create the sound. front line in New Orleans jazz, the melody instruments: trumpet (or cornet), trombone, pickup a small microphone attached to the bridge of a string bass or to an acoustic
break a short two- or four-bar episode in which the band abruptly stops playing to let a and clarinet. guitar to amplify its sound.
single musician solo with a monophonic passage. full cadence a musical stopping point on the tonic that marks the end of a phrase. pitch the vibrations per second, or frequency, of a sound.
bridge (release) the middle part (or B section) of 32-bar funk a type of groove with a highly-syncopated bass line and multiple contrasting pixie mute a small mute inserted into the bell of a brass instrument; players like Cootie
A ABA form, which connects, or "bridges," between the A sections; it typically ends with rhythmic layers, favored by jazz musicians after about 1970. Williams and "Tricky Sam'' Nan- ton modified its sound further with a plunger mute.
a half cadence. fusion the joining of two types of music, especially the mixing of jazz and rock in the pizzicato the technique of playing a string instrument by plucking the strings with the
broken octaves a form of left-hand piano accompaniment that alternates the lower note 1970s. fingers; usually the preferred method in jazz for playing the string bass.
of an octave with the higher one. ghosting playing notes so lightly that they are almost inaudible. playing inside improvising within the structure of a tonal harmonic progression
cadence stopping places that divide a harmonic progression into comprehensible glissando sliding seamlessly from one note to another, as exemplified on the trombone; playing outside improvising outside the structure of a tonal harmonic progression.
phrases. See haifcadence, full cadence. also, known as smear. plunger mute the bottom end of a sink plunger (minus the handle), used as a mute for a
cadenza a classical-music word for a monophonic solo passage that showcases the grace note a short, decorative note sounded either immediately before or brass instrument.
performer's virtuosity. simultaneously with a longer melodic note. polyphony texture in which two or more melodies of equal interest are played at the
cakewalk ragtime dancing featuring syncopated rhythms. groove a general term for the overall rhythmic framework of a performance. Grooves same time.
call and response a pervasive principle of interaction or conversation in jazz: a include swing, funk, ballad, and Latin. polyrhythm the simultaneous use of contrasting rhythms; also known as rhythmic
statement by one musician or group of musicians is immediately answered by another guiro in Latin percussion, a scraped gourd with contrast.
musician or group. guitar a plucked string instrument with waited sides and a fretted fingerboard; the popular song a type of song created by professional songwriters, especially in the
changes jazz slang for a harmonic progression. See rhythmchanges. acoustic guitar was part of early jazz rhythm sections, while the electric guitar began to period from the 1920s to the 1960s; usually falls into one of the basic song forms, such
Charleston rhythm a dance rhythm from the 1920s, consisting of two emphatic beats be used in the late 1930s and came to dominate and popular music in the 1960s. as A ABA orABAC.
followed by a rest. half cadence a musical stopping point on the dominant. Half cadences sound press-roll an intense rumbling on the snare drum.
chart a shorthand musical score that serves as the point of reference for a jazz incomplete; they serve like a comma or a semicolon in punctuation, providing a stop but programmatic music that attempts to link itself to specific places, people, or events.
performance, often specifying only the melody and the harmonic progression; also not signaling full closure. quartal chords (or harmonies) chords built using the interval of a fourth (rather than a
known as a lead sheet. half-valving depressing one or more of the valves of a brass instrument only halfway, third).
Chicago style style of jazz in the 1920s that imitated the New Orleans style, combining producing an uncertain pitch with a nasal sound. quarter tone a microtone that divides the half step into equal parts.
expansive solos with polyphonic theme statements. half step the smallest interval possible in Western music. ragtime a style of popular music in the early twentieth century that conveyed African
chord a combination of notes performed simultaneously. chord clusters dissonant hard bop a bebop style of the 1950s that refused the experiments of coo/jazz and linked American polyrhythm in notated form; includes popular song and dance, although it's
chords with closely spaced notes. chorus (1) a single statement of the harmonic and its aesthetic with African American culture; included the more populist soul/jazz and was primarily known today through compositions written for the piano.
rhythmic jazz cycle defined by the musical form (e.g, 12-bar blues, 32-bar popular song); played by great bebop artists of the day. reed instruments wind instruments whose mouthpieces are inserted between the lips,
(2) the repeated portion of a popular song, often introduced by its verse. Harlem Renaissance an artistic movement of the 1920s that attempted to display with the player blowing a stream of air into a passageway between a thin, limber reed
chromatic harmony complex harmony based on the chromatic scale. African American abilities in painting, drama, literature, poetry, criticism, and music; was and the hard part of the mouthpiece.
chromatic scale the scale containing twelve half steps within the octave, corresponding usually not included by critics of the time, although in retrospect the music of Duke refrain in popular song or folk music, a musical section that returns regularly.
to all the keys (black and white) within an octave on the piano (e.g., from C to C). Ellington seems central. register the range of an instrument or voice: upper register means its highest notes,
clarinet a wind instrument consisting of a slim, cylindrical, ebony-colored wooden tube harmonic improvisation a new melodic line created with notes drawn from the lower register its lower notes.
that produces a thin, piercing sound. underlying harmonic progression; also, known as running the changes. resolve what an unstable (or dissonant) note or chord does when it moves to a stable
classic blues see vaudeville blues. harmonic progression a series of chords placed in a strict rhythmic sequence; also, (or consonant) note or chord.
classical music art music from the European tradition. known as changes. rest a moment of silence, indicated by a sign in musical notation; for example, indicates
clave a Latin time-line pattern. harmonic substitution the substitution of one chord, or a series of chords, for a quarter rest (a quarter note's duration of silence).
clusters see chord clusters. harmonies in a progression. retro-swing a form of dance music popular toward the end of the twentieth century that
coda Italian for "tail": a concluding section to a musical performance. Harmon mute a hollow mute, originally with a short extension but usually played without appropriated dances from the Swing Era with musical accompaniment from 1940s
collective improvisation method of improvisation found in New Orleans jazz in which it, leaving a hole in the center and creating a highly-concentrated sound. rhythm and blues.
several instruments in the front line improvise simultaneously in a dense, polyphonic head a composed section of music that frames a small-combo performance, appearing rhythm changes a harmonic progression based on the George Gershwin tune "I Got
texture. at the beginning and again at the end. Rhythm."
camping a rhythmically unpredictable way of playing chords to accompany a soloist; head arrangement a flexible, unwritten arrangement created by a band. rhythmic contrast see polyrhythm.
typically, one of the variable layers in the rhythm section. high-hat two shoulder-level cymbals on an upright pole with a foot pedal at its base; the rhythmic layers in the repetitive cyclic structures of jazz, highly individualized parts that
congas in Latin percussion, two tall drums of equal height but different diameters, with pedal brings the top cymbal crashing into the lower one with a distinct thunk. contrast with one another, even as they create a unified whole. See also polyrhythm.
the smaller one assigned the lead role. hip-hop a form of contemporary music that arose in the 1970s, featuring rapping, rhythm section instruments that provide accompaniment for jazz soloing: harmony
consonant the quality of a harmony that's stable and doesn't need to resolve to another turntable styling, and the dance and fashion of inner-city youth. instruments (piano, guitar), bass instruments (string bass, tuba), and percussion (drum
chord. Historicism the theory that artistic works do not rise independently of history but must be set).
contrapuntal adjectival form of counterpoint. understood in relation to the past. ride cymbal a cymbal with a clear, focused timbre that's played more or less
cool jazz a style of modern jazz in the 1950s that used a "cool," relaxed approach to homophony a texture featuring one melody supported by harmonic accompaniment. continuously.
timbre and experimented with such basic elements as form, texture, instrumentation, horns jazz slang for ·wind instruments. ride pattern a steady pulsation played on the ride cymbal that forms one of the
and meter. inside see playing inside. foundations for modern jazz.
coon song an early form of ragtime popular song that yoked polyrhythmic interval the distance between two different pitches of a scale. riff a short, catchy, and repeated melodic phrase.
accompaniments to grotesque racial stereo- types. irregular meter a meter featuring beats of unequal size (some are divided into twos, ring shout an Mrican American religious dance, performed in a circle moving
cornet a partially conical brass instrument used often in early jazz and eventually others into threes). A meter of five, for example, features two beats--one divided into counterclockwise; often cited as the earliest and most pervasive form of African survival
supplanted by the trumpet. three notes, the other divided into two notes (as in Dave Brubeck's "Take Five"). Similar in the New World.
countermelody in homophonic texture, an accompanying melodic part with distinct, combinations of seven, nine, and eleven are possible. rip a strong glissando rising to the top of a note, especially on a trumpet.
though subordinate, melodic interest; also, known (especially in classical music) as jam session an informal gathering at which musicians create music for their own ritard a gradual slowing down of tempo.
obbligato. enjoyment. rock and roll a form of contemporary music, combining rhythm and blues with elements
counterpoint polyphonic texture, especially when composed. Jazz Age the 1920s; the era in which jazz became a popular, prominent form of music. from popular song and country music and marketed at white teenagers; since the 1960s,
counter rhythm see cross-rhythm. jazz repertory a movement that arose in the mid-1970s to critically examine and perform when it became known simply as rock, it has been the dominant form in the music
country blues an early style of blues, first recorded in the 1920s, featuring itinerant male jazz from earlier eras. industry.
singers accompanying themselves on guitar. keeping time playing the foundation layers for a musical piece. root the bottom note of a triad.
crash cymbal a cymbal that produces a splashy, indeterminate pitch, not unlike a small klezmer a Jewish dance music. rubato (Italian for "stolen") an elastic approach to rhythm in which musicians speed up
gong, used for dramatic punctuations. Latin music dance grooves from the Caribbean, Central America, or South America and slow down for expressive purposes; rubato makes musical time unpredictable and
crescendo an increase in volume. (such as rumba, samba, mambo, bossa nova, or merengue) that feature syncopated more flexible.
cross-rhythm a rhythmic layer that conflicts with the underlying meter. bass lines and lively polyrhythm. rumba clave a slight variation of the clave pattern, used in the rumba.
cup mute an orchestral mute with an extension that more or less covers the bell of a Latin percussion a wide variety of instruments including congas, bongos, timbales, salsa a form of Latin popular music, founded in the 1970s. samba a traditional Latino
brass instrument. maracas, and guiro. music with African roots.
cycle a fixed unit of time, repeated indefinitely, that's used as the framework for legato a smooth, unbroken connection between notes. saxophone invented by Adophe Sax in the 1840s, a family of single-reed wind
improvisation in jazz. licks short melodic ideas that form a shared basic vocabulary for jazz improvisers. instruments with the carrying power of a brass instrument. See alto saxophone, tenor
cymbals broad-rimmed, slightly-convex circular plates that form part of the jazz drum kit. mainstream term first coined for music during the 1950s that was neither modernist saxophone, soprano saxophone, and baritone saxophone.
See also crash cymbal, high- hat, and ride cymbal. (bebop, cool jazz, hard bop) or historicist (New Orleans jazz); today, it refers to styles that scale a collection of pitches within the octave, forming a certain pattern of whole and half
decrescendo a decrease in volume. are neither aggressively innovative nor back-ward-looking, but falling in the center of the steps, from which melodies are created.
degree individual notes in a scale (e.g., the first note of a scale is the first degree). tradition. scat-singing improvising by a vocalist, using nonsense syllables instead of words;
diatonic scale the seven-note scale most commonly used in Western music. See major major scale or mode the most common scale in Western music, sung to the syllables do, popularized by Louis Armstrong.
scale, minor scale, Dorian mode. re, mi,fo, sol, Ia, ti do.The pattern of whole and half steps is W W H W W W H. secondary ragtime a pattern of polyrhythm in which a short motive of three pitches,
diminished (or diminished-seventh) chord an unstable chord made up entirely of major second a whole step, or an interval made up of two half steps. implying a meter of three, is superimposed on a duple meter.
send-off riffs ensemble riffs played in the first few bars of a chorus by the entire band. arrangement.
They interrupt or immediately pre- cede a solo, "sending" the soloist off on his way; the walking bass a bass line featuring four equal beats per bar, usually used as a rhythmic
soloist then completes the rest of the chorus. foundation in jazz.
sequence a short melodic pattern repeated on different pitches. See also transpose. whole note the longest possible rhythmic note; in a four-beat duple meter, it would fill up
seventh an interval one step smaller than an octave, often used as an extension for an entire measure.
chords. whole step an interval made up of two half steps; the distance between do and re.
shake for brass instruments, a quick trill between notes that mimics a wide vibrato, often whole-tone chord an augmented chord made up of intervals (major thirds) from the
performed at the end of a musical passage. whole-tone scale.
sharp a music symbol (i) that raises a note a half step. whole-tone scale a six-note scale made up entirely of whole steps; because it avoids
shuffle rhythms slow, powerfully syncopated rhythms derived from boogie-woogie. the intervals of a perfect fourth or fifth (the intervals normally used to tune instruments), it
sideman any musician employed by a bandleader; often used to describe members of a has a peculiar, disorienting sound.
swing band. wind instruments in jazz, instruments that are played by blowing air into a tube; also
singer-songwriter in contemporary popular music, a perfomer who creates his or her known in jazz as horns.
own music; this contrasts with the practice in the music industry before the 1960s that setwire brushes drumsticks-actually hollow handles with thin wire strands-used to strike or
songwriters apart from performers. brush the drumheads.
single reed a reed instrument, such as the clarinet or saxophone, that uses only one work song a type of folk song used during work to regulate physical activity or to
reed; in jazz, double-reed instruments such as the oboe or bassoon are rarely used. engage the worker's attention.
slash chords complex extended chords in which the root is a note not normally part of
the triad (e.g., an A major chord with an F root, written as AJF and spoken as "A slash Most often 12 bar blues (AAB) 4 beats a measure.
slide an elongated trombone tube that adjusts the length of a column of air when the GRIOT: shamans storytellers through music. Roots of Jazz work songs, field hollers.
COMPING changing tones to help integrate steady rhythm and improve
player slides it.
small combo the standard small group for jazz, combining a few soloists with a rhythm STROPHIC: a form that reoccurs (verse form)
smear see glissando.
smooth jazz a highly popular form of contemporary jazz, featuring inoffensive soloing Use listening guide in book to put into notes.
and digitally processed rhythm tracks, favored on some radio stations.
snare drum smaller drum in a jazz drum kit, either standing on its own or attached to the
bass drum, and emitting a penetrating, rattling sound.
soli a passage for a section of a jazz band (saxophones, trumpets, trombones) in block-
chord texture.
soloist any instrument in the jazz ensemble whose improvisation is featured in a
son clave the standard version of the clave pattern.
soprano saxophone the smallest and highest-pitched saxophone used in jazz
soul jazz a popularized form of hard bop that employs a strong backbeat, an aggressive
urban sound, and gospel- typechords.
spiritual African American religious song.
staccato a short, detached way of playing notes or chords.
standard a popular song that has become part of the permanent repertory for jazz
stepwise in melody, moving from one note in the scale to the next.
stock arrangements standard arrangements of popular songs made available by
publishing companies for swing bands.
stop-time a technique in which a band plays a series of short chords a fixed distance
apart (e.g., a measure), creating spaces for an instrument to fill with monophonic
improvisation; often used in early jazz.
straight mute a standard orchestral mute that dampens the sound of a brass instrument
without much distortion.
strain in march form, a 16- or 32-bar section.
stride piano a style of jazz piano relying on a left-hand accompaniment that alternates
low bass notes with higher chords.
string bass the most common bass used in jazz, the same acoustic instrument found in
symphony orchestras; also known as double bass.
subdominant the fourth degree of the scale, or the chord built on that scale degree.
swing (1) from the period 1935-1945, usually known as the Swing Era; (2) a jazz-
specific feeling created by rhythmic contrast within a particular rhythmic framework
(usually involving a walking bass and a steady rhythm on the drummer's ride cymbal).
swing eighth notes a jazz soloist's flexible division of the beat into unequal parts.
symphonic jazz a form of jazz popular in the 1920s that attempted to elevate the music
through symphonic arrangements.
syncopation an occasional rhythmic disruption, contradicting the basic meter.
synthesizer an electronically amplified keyboard that creates its own sounds through
computer programming.
tailgate trombone (or smears) exaggerated glissandos.
tempo the speed of a piece of music.
tenor saxophone a common type of saxophone, larger and deeper than the alto.
territory bands in the 1920s and early 1930s, dance bands that serviced a "territory,"
defined by a day's drive from an urban center.
texture the relationship between melody and harmony: a melody supported by
harmonic accompaniment (homophony), a melody by itself (monophony), or two or more
melodies played at the same time, creating their own harmonies (polyphony).
third the basic interval for tonal harmony; in a major scale, it's formed by skipping over a
scale degree (e.g., moving from do to mi).
thirty-two-bar popular song a standard song form, usually divided into shorter
sections, such as A ABA (each section eight bars long) or A A' (each section sixteen
bars long).
timbales in Latin percussion, two drums mounted on a stand along with a cowbell,
played with sticks by a standing musician.
timbre the quality of sound, as distinct from its pitch; also known as tone color.
timbre variation the use of a wide range of timbres for expressive purposes.
time-line pattern a repeated, asymmetric pattern that serves as a basic foundation layer
in African (and, to a lesser extent, African American) music.
tom-toms cylindrical drums with no snare used in a drum kit, typically tuned to different
tonal music music characterized by an overall tonal center (the tonic) that serves as the
center of gravity: all other harmonies are more or less dissonant in relation to this tonal
tonic the first degree of the scale, or the chord built on the first scale degree.
tonic triad the chord built on the first scale degree.
trading fours in a jam session, "trading" short (usually four-bar) solos back and forth
between the drums and the soloists, or between soloists.
transpose to shift an entire musical phrase to a higher or lower pitch. See also
traps see drum kit.
trap set see drum kit.
tremolo the speedy alternation of two notes some distance apart; on a piano, this action
imitates a brass vibrato.
triad the standard three-note chord (e.g., C-E-G) that serves as the basis for tonal
trill the rapid alternation of two adjacent notes.
trio (1) the third, or C section of march or march/ragtime form, usually twice as long (32
bars), modulating to a new key, and offering contrast; (2) a group with three members.
triple meter a meter that groups beats into patterns of threes; every measure, or bar, of
triple meter has three beats.
triplet a note divided into three equal parts.
tritone a dissonant interval made up of three whole steps (e.g., C to F-sharp). also
known as flatted fifth.
trombone a low-pitched brass instrument that uses a slide to adjust the column of air.
See also valve trombone.
trumpet the most common brass instrument; its vibrating tube is completely cylindrical
until it reaches the end, where it flares into the instrument's bell.
tuba a large, low-pitched brass instrument with an intricate nest of tubing ending in an
enormous bell; often used in early jazz groups as a bass instrument because of its
powerful volume.
turnaround (or turnback) a faster, more complex series of chords used in the last two
bars of a blues or the last A section of an A A B A form, leading back to the beginning of
the chorus.
twelve-bar blues see blues form.
unison the "interval" formed by two different instruments performing the same pitch.
upbeat note or notes that precede the downbeat.
valve trombone a trombone that uses valves rather than a slide to change the length of
the tube.
valves controls in brass instruments that shunt air into a passageway of tubing, altering
a pitch.
vamp a short, repeated chord progression, usually used as the introduction to a
variable intonation a tuning system that allows for certain pitches to fluctuate by
microtones, thus creating blue notes.
variable layers contrasting parts played above the foundation layers in a piece.
vaudeville blues an early theatrical form of the blues featuring female singers,
accompanied by a small band; also known as classic blues.
verse the introductory portion of a popular song, preceding the chorus; usually omitted
by jazz musicians.
vibraphone (vibraharpl an amplified metallophone (metal xylophone) with tubes below
each slab; a disc turning within each tube helps sustain and modifY the sound.
vibrato a slight wobble in pitch produced naturally by the singing voice, often imitated by
wind and string instruments.
voicing distributing the notes of a chord on a piano, or to different instruments in an