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Bop/Bebop Jazz Music Essay. In comparison to previous styles of jazz, bebop music can be distinguished by the fast tempo, virtuosic nature of the solo parts and the greater use of improvisation.

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Stephen Beattie - 62A Bop/Bebop Jazz Music Essay Bebop music evolved during the 1940's and it was later associated with what was known as modern jazz, due to many aspects of bebop being continued later into the 50's, 60's etc. In comparison to previous styles of jazz, bebop music can be distinguished by the fast tempo, virtuosic nature of the solo parts and the greater use of improvisation. The words 'bop' and 'bebop' came from the stereotypical sound that comes at the end of phrases in this type of music. The shape of the melody was usually written in such a way that it sounded similar to the scat singing from the early years of jazz. It was due to young musicians experimenting with what was previously played, this resulted in a new jazz, one with more freedom for improvisation and creativity. Swing music was all notated and orchestrated; this made it difficult to allow musicians to play virtuosic passages and to show off as all parts were written in the score. ...read more.


The drums In particular had become more 'frontline' in a way. The polyrhythmic drumming styles used meant that the beat was less defined as the drums were no longer comping and simply keeping the rhythm as they had a solo part of their own now. The drumming could be very offbeat and fast which make it difficult to hear how many beats are in each bar seeing as it was generally the drum part that allowed people to identify this in previous styles of jazz music. The bass line then became the key instrument in maintaining the beat of the music. The drum part was no longer just playing crotchet and quaver patterns on the snare and hi-hat. Even the bass line became more adventurous with fast moving passages including many what the classical musician would call 'passing notes', although not always part of the chord at the time, the bass like was always maintaining the rhythm and tempo of the music. ...read more.


Parker played the solo lines and it said that almost the entire piece (heard In the 1945 recording) was improvised as there was no evidence of it in the score. Like many pieces of music of this era,the chords beneath the melody were taken from a well known song. In this case the song was Cherokee, the chords allowed for Parker to improvise fast, intricate phrases. The bands in the bebop style of jazz were much smaller than big bands. They consisted of usually no more than five musicians as this allowed for maximum freedom for creativity and improvisation. In Koko, there is an alto sax, trumpet, bass, piano and drums. This was a very typical line up for many bands, such as Dizzy Gillespie's All star quintet as well as many other bands of the 1940's. Thelonious Monk on the other hand, had a band consisting of a piano, vibraphone, bass and drums. Very little use of clarinets and rhythm guitar in bop and bebop jazz, this did change though in years to come with the formation of more modern jazz. ...read more.

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