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The Benny Goodman Quartet: Lionel Hampton, vibraphone; Teddy Wilson, piano; Benny Goodman, clarinet; and Gene Krupa, drums; in Busby Berkeley’s 1937 film, Hollywood Hotel.

(MaxJazz/Lebrecht Music & Arts)

Article

Commercial name for the New York theater district. Few of the theaters are actually on Broadway, but many are in the Times Square area. The “Broadway” designation as a term, according to Actor’s Equity, refers to a theater with at least 500 seats; off-Broadway houses are smaller.

See Musical theater.

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Jazz Ex.2 characteristic rhythmic motive of the charleston

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Corp author Jazzsign

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Charlie Parker, 1949.

(JazzSign/Lebrecht Music & Arts)

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

[chip music]

Term related to music made by the eight-bit soundchips in 1980s and early 1990s gaming systems and microcomputers, as well as music composed using modified (‘modded’) gaming systems or environments designed to emulate the capabilities of early soundchips. (A chip, or microchip, is an integrated circuit packaged in a usually flat rectangular body with input and output pins for attachment to a larger circuit system.) The original systems include the NEC PC-8801, Commodore 64, Nintendo Entertainment Systems, Amiga, Game Boy, and Mega Drive/Genesis. The distinctive sound of music from these systems arises from their use of only a few simple waveforms, white noise, and beeps, as well as unreliable pitches and limited polyphony. Despite these restrictions, inventive chiptune composers in the 1980s emulated many styles of music using flutelike melodies, buzzing square-wave bass lines, rapid arpeggios, and noisy primitive percussion. Game music is designed to loop indefinitely and then quickly switch depending upon the characters or scenes of the game, requiring the music to be simple yet evocative. Composers used software ‘trackers’, tediously entering the note and other information in numerical codes that the hardware chip could use....

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Jazz Ex.1c cinquillo

Article

Charles Conrad

The first American circus was presented in Philadelphia by English equestrian master John Bill Ricketts. The Philadelphia Federal Evening Post dated May 15, 1793 is the first known newspaper mention of circus music: “He dances on the rope, at the same time plays several pieces of music on the violin in concert with the band.” A little more than a year later, the same paper announced: “Mr. Ricketts has provided a Grand Band of Music, under the direction of Mr. Young.” The makeup of these bands are as yet unknown. An 1893 newspaper article quotes a player from the 1833 Bailey’s Circus as mentioning that “clarionet bands” (generally 7–10 piece bands of clarinets, natural horns, and serpent or ophicleide) were used. Local brass bands were employed in the 1830s, and with the advent of convenient railroad travel, bands began to tour with the circuses. The earliest “star” circus musician was keyed-bugle virtuoso Edward “Ned” Kendall....

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Disco  

David Brackett

A form of dance music that dominated popular music during the late-1970s. It features regular bass drum accents on every beat, frequent use of orchestral instruments and synthesizers, Latin percussion, and simple lyrics oriented around dancing, romance and a party-led life style. The term derives from discothèque: venues that began playing pre-recorded dance music in the early 1960s.

Disco emerged from clubs in New York City that catered primarily to African-American, Latino and gay subcultures. Based on the ‘sweet’ soul sounds popularized by the Motown and Philadelphia International recording companies, disco also included funk and Latin elements, and initially included a stylistically diverse range of songs. Its impact extended beyond musical style, challenging prevalent notions in popular music criticism about authorship and creativity. The central figure in this challenge was the DJ. Because DJs were responsible for selecting and sequencing songs, it was their taste that dictated disco’s sense of style rather than the singers and instrumentalists of soul and rock musics; successful DJ’s could acquire their own following in much the same way as a recording artist. In fact, the disco DJs predilection for reconfiguring existing recordings by fading out of one song and into another led to the recording industry’s invention of the 12-inch single, designed for easier editing. DJs shared the creative locus of the disco scene with the audience itself, as the focus on dancing stressed social interaction....

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Corp author JazzSign/Lebrecht Music & Arts

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Duke Ellington Orchestra: Kay Davis, singer; Al Sears, saxophone; Junior Raglin, bass, Ray Nance trumpet, and trombonist Tricky Sam Nanton; 1945.

(JazzSign/Lebrecht Music & Arts)

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Corp author Rue des Archives

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Ella Fitzgerald.

(RA/Lebrecht Music & Arts)

Article

Funk  

David Brackett

An African-American popular music style. It features syncopated interlocking rhythm patterns based on straight quaver and semiquaver subdivisions, a vocal style drawn from soul music, extended vamps based on a single and often complex harmony, strong emphasis on the bass line, and lyrics with frequent spiritual themes and social commentary. The use of the term for a musical style inverts the negative colloquial meaning of strong aromas, particularly of a bodily and sexual nature.

While the adjective ‘funky’ was applied to gospel-influenced jazz in the 1950s, and appeared in song titles as early as 1967, for example Funky Broadway by Dyke and the Blazers, it did not become widespread as a term for a specific genre until the mid-1970s. The increased use of the term in the late 1960s coincided with a shift in African-American politics from the integrationist stance of the Civil Rights movement, associated with the rise of soul music, to the more radical stance of the Black Power Movement, a shift heralded by James Brown’s funk recording ...

Article

Ian Bradley

English comic-opera collaborators. The impact of the comic operas of the librettist W.S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and the composer Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900) in the United States was immediate and lasting. H.M.S. Pinafore, the team’s second significant collaboration, established its transatlantic reputation. In the absence of international copyright agreements, a pirate production opened in Boston on 25 November 1878, exactly six months after the London first night. Within a few months Pinafore mania was sweeping the country. The opera was at one point being performed simultaneously in eight New York theaters within five blocks of each other. By the time the “authorized” version opened at the Fifth Avenue Theater in New York on 1 December 1879, more than 150 productions had played across the United States.

It was a mark of the instant and intense popularity of the first of the major Savoy operas, as Gilbert and Sullivan’s operas became known, that the next work in the canon, ...

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Jazz Ex.1b habanera

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Jazz  

Mark Tucker and Travis A. Jackson

The term conveys different though related meanings: 1) a musical tradition rooted in performing conventions that were introduced and developed early in the 20th century by African Americans; 2) a set of attitudes and assumptions brought to music-making, chief among them the notion of performance as a fluid creative process involving improvisation; and 3) a style characterized by syncopation, melodic and harmonic elements derived from the blues, cyclical formal structures and a supple rhythmic approach to phrasing known as swing.

Writers have often portrayed the history of jazz as a narrative of progress. Their accounts show jazz evolving from a boisterous type of dance music into forms of increasing complexity, gradually rising in prestige to become an artistic tradition revered around the world. Certainly attitudes towards the music have changed dramatically. In 1924 an editorial writer for The New York Times called jazz ‘a return to the humming, hand-clapping, or tomtom beating of savages’; in ...

Article

Jazz  

Mark Tucker and Travis A. Jackson

The term conveys different although related meanings: 1) a musical tradition rooted in performing conventions that were introduced and developed early in the 20th century by African Americans; 2) a set of attitudes and assumptions brought to music-making, chief among them the notion of performance as a fluid creative process involving (group) improvisation; and 3) a style characterized by melodic, harmonic, and timbral practices derived from the blues and African American religious musics, cyclical formal structures, and a supple approach to rhythm and phrasing known as swing.

Historians and critics using studies of concert music and literature as models have often portrayed the development of jazz as a narrative of progress. Their accounts suggest that jazz started as unsophisticated dance music but grew into increasingly complex forms, gradually gaining prestige and becoming recognized around the world as an art. Over that same period, the attitudes of cultural and institutional gatekeepers toward the music changed dramatically. In ...

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Joe “King” Oliver (standing with trumpet) leads the Creole Jazz Band from New Orleans, including Louis Armstrong (kneeling with trumpet), 1923.

(Lebrecht Music & Arts)

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Charles Garrett

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Paul F. Wells

A loosely defined term that is applied variously to older (i.e. pre–World War II) forms of country music, to a variety of traditional fiddling styles, and to modern performers who draw on or seek to perpetuate older styles. The history of the term has yet to be fully researched, but it was being used at least as early as the mid-1920s. In 1924 OKeh records used the term “Old Time Pieces” in ads to describe the music of two artists, Fiddlin’ John Carson and Henry Whitter. Carson and Whitter were among the first southern rural artists to be recorded, at a time when the genre that later came to be called Hillbilly music , and subsequently Country music , had yet to acquire an overarching rubric. The term was also used liberally during the nationwide, nostalgia-driven craze for “old-time” fiddling and dancing that was instigated by industrialist Henry Ford; this fad peaked in ...