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Definitions (148)

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west coast school


A much criticized label for the 'Cool' style (q.v.) as it was taken up in California in the early 50s by mostly white players, like Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker and many lesser figures like pianist Russ Freeman. In addition to the typical features of cool Jazz, the style experimented with 'classical' instruments and [..]
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whole-tone


A 6-note scale, of which there are two, made up entirely of whole-step intervals, or the harmonies derived from it. Used by Debussy and suggestive of 'impressionism'. In Jazz, associated with Thelonious Monk and explored in a number of hard bop originals.
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voice


Any one of the melodic lines formed by the flow of the music. The bass line and the melody form the two outer voices, and the tones in between may, to a greater or lesser extent, form melodic lines of their own called inner voices.
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voice-leading


Getting the succession of harmonic tones in the inner voices to form coherent melodic lines of their own, or, at least, to move in a smooth, mainly step-wise motion. The perfection of voice-leading was in Bach, where 4 or more independent melodies can mesh to form perfect chordal harmony.
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voicing


A particular arrangement of the notes of a chord in which chosen harmonies color the tone.
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verse


In many older standard songs, an introductory section, often rubato, that leads up to the 'chorus' or main strain, which is the tune as generally recognized. Jazz players (and fakebooks) usually omit the verse, though singers like to use them.
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upper structure


A triad used in the upper register over a chord of a different root, such as an A major triad over a C7 chord. From the standpoint of C7, the A triad consists of the 13th, the flat 9th, and the 3rd; at the same time it has the unified sound of a major triad.
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tritone substitution


See 'Substitution'. The substitution of a chord whose root is a tritone away. In turnarounds it's common to do this for any of the chords.
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tune


A single Jazz composition or Jazz performance, a piece. The word 'song' is frowned on.
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turnaround


A sequence of chords, or the portion of a tune that they occupy, that forms a cadence at the end of a section of a tune, definitively establishes the tonic key and leads back to the opening chord of the next section, or to the top. Typically the turnaround chords are I - VI - ii - V, with half a measure apiece. With possible substitutions and alter [..]
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