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date: 22 February 2020

Fill [fill-in]locked

  • Robert Witmer



A short, usually rhythmic figure played in jazz and popular music at points of melodic inactivity or stasis (between phrases, choruses or solos, or during a sustained note) by one or more members of an accompanying group. Usually such a figure lasts no more than a beat or two. In improvised jazz and styles of popular music such as rock, funk and soul, fills are usually rhythmic embellishments played by the drummer or by other members of the rhythm section, and this has been transferred to the electronic dance music of the 1980s and 90s. In music for large ensembles with more formal arrangements, fills are typically played by entire sections: in the opening of Woody Herman’s ...

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