A relatively simple, catchy repeated phrase. May be played behind a soloist or as part of a head. Often in a bluesy style. Riff tunes are made up of riffs, characteristic of the black bands of the 30s.
Short musical ideas that are regularly repeated in the improvisations of a particular soloist.
Notes of a chord that make that chord clear, e.g. for a maj7, the 3rd and 7th make it clear.
24 bar structures
Similar to 12 bar blues except every chord is doubled in duration. Turnaround is the last four bars.
Repeated riff, goes around and around.
A transitional passage in which a soloist plays unaccompanied.
Jazz terminology for chords (e.g., the changes of a tune = the chords of tune); a tune’s chord progression.
The first (and last) chorus of a tune, in which the song or melody is stated without improvisation or with minimal improvisation.
Single staccato chord that adds impact.
A form of music notation that specifies the melody & harmony (and sometimes the lyric) of a tune. The melody is written in modern Western music notation and the harmony is specified with chord symbols above the staff.
The use of vocables and syllables instead of words while improvising vocally.
One time through the chords of a tune
Instruments that play the melody or improvise with solos etc in jazz bands. Usually trumpet, trombone, clarinet and (later) saxophones.
The musicians in the band whose primary function is to provide and maintain the pulse, rhythm, and feel of the music as well as its underlying chord structure; the rhythm section consists of piano, bass, guitar, and drums.
Process of spontaneously creating fresh melodies over the continuously repeating cycle of chord changes of a tune. The improviser may depend on the original tune, or solely on the possibilities of the chords’ harmonies.
A bass line in which the notes are all on the beat, and move mainly by steps instead of leaps.
Early instrumental jazz band music. The name given to New Orleans style jazz when it began to be played in Northern cities. This style of jazz is also known as New Orleans style jazz, Chicago style jazz or traditional jazz. Slightly later than early jazz (revival of it.)
A chord whose bass note is indicated with a slash next to the chord symbol.
Predecessor of jazz, often played on piano. Cross rhythms and syncopation. All composed, no improv. Regular accented accompaniment.
Improvising a jazz accompaniment. Typically on piano. Word comes from complement and to accompany.
A jazz tune based on an existing set of chord changes, usually from a standard; the result when composers use the chord structure of a given, established composition to write an entirely new composition, e.g. Ornithology from How High the Moon.