Jazz Dictonary

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Jazz Slang

Jazz Dictonary


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Call-and-response pattern: A musical pattern common to much Jazz and African music in which a "call," usually by a solo singer or instrumentalist, is followed by a "response", from one instrument, an ensemble, or the assembled participants in a ritual. In religious ceremonies the congregation may respond to the "call" of the preacher. this is usually defined in a more formal way as "Antiphony", or said to be "Antiphonal."

Chamber music: Music intended for small groups performing in intimate. surroundings, as distinct from large groups performing in concert halls, theaters, and the like.

Charleston: A dance form that was extremely popular during the 1920's. Also more Importantly, it is a rhythm pattern that is one of the most important in jazz.

Chops: Slang for instrumental proficiency or virtuosity.

Chord: The simultaneous sounding of three or more tones, Vertical densities.

Chord Changes or (Chord Progressions): When one chord changes or it progresses to another chord. A set of harmonies in a particular order with specified durations; for example, the twelve measure I-IV-I-V-I blues progression.

Chorus: The main body or refrain of a song as distinct from the verse, which comes first. Very often an arrangement contains many choruses played by individual instrumentalists.

Chromatic: The smallest interval known to western music, a half step; Refers to the scales or the alteration of scale tones by using half steps.

Chromatic scale: Atwelve tone scale using exclusively intervals of a half . Diatonic scale, an eight tone scale with a repetition, of the eighth degree and consisting of half and whole steps.

Collective Improvisation: Simultaneous improvisation by all members of a group together. Combo: A small instrumental group consisting of three to eight players.

Comping: Syncopating chording which provides improvised accompaniment for simultaneously improvised solos, flexibly complementing the rhythms and implied harmonies of the solo line.

Cool: An adjective often implied to describe the subdued feeling projected by the music of Bix Beiderbecke, Lester Young, Claude Thornhill, Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Lee Konitz, Gerry Mulligan, (etc.). Sometimes used to define the West Coast Style played by some musicians on the west coast.

Counterpoint: Two or more lines of approximately equal importance sounding together.

Concerto Grosso: A composition consisting of interplay between a large body of instruments (orchestra) and a small group of instrumentalists(combo).

Congo Square: A large field in New Orleans where slaves gathered to sing and dance.

Contrived: Music that is planned beforehand. Creole: A person with Negro and French or Spanish ancestry.

Crossover: A style of music that appeals to more than one type of listener; refers to jazz/rock (fusion).




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