Jazz Music: Bebop

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Bebop is one of the most artistic styles of jazz music. Bebop gradually developed during the 1940’s. Bebop focused more on the freedom of creativity rather than rhythmic aspects. According to The Bop Era, it also gave soloists more room for “innovative improvisation” (Glass). Through the works of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and other players we will discover how Bebop became such a prominent style during this era.

Bebop is a “genre of American music originated in New Orleans around the 1900’s (The Definition of Jazz).” Bebop is a very unique style of music that comes from inspired passions of the mind. It’s free style brought out some of the greatest talents during this era. Bebop had some very unique qualities to say the least. For one, the preferred size consisted of four to six players (Kamien 482). The tempos were usually very fast. It was common for bigger bands, like swing bands, to create music you could dance to. On the contrary, Bebop was strictly for listening. I would like to think of it as a more sophisticated style of music that you could hear at a lounge or an upscale restaurant. Bebop was known for its complex melodies. It was full of notes that seemed to leap wildly. It would have been very difficult to sing to this style of music. Its harmonies were more intense and varied. The rhythm sections became more receptive to the soloists giving them a broader and daring variety of forms, ranges, and techniques. You can really see how improvising took on a new importance that led to the emotional power of the solo piece. During this time some musicians were drafted into WWII. There were war restrictions on the use of gasoline and plastics, according to PBS; which meant less traveling and record pr...

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8. Kennedy Center. "Understanding Jazz: Swing and Bebop." The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 1990. Web. 10 Apr. 2011. .

9. Oxford University Press. "PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography - Charlie Parker." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Web. 9 Apr. 2011. .

10. Oxford University Press. "PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography - Dizzy Gillespie." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Web. 8 Apr. 2011. .

11. Sabatella, Marc. "Jazz Styles: Mainstream Jazz: Bebop." The Outside Shore. 2000. Web. 8 Apr. 2011. .
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