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A collection of terms related to the topic of Jazz Music

Improvisation Creating musical material - Melodic and or Rhythmic - on the spot.
Chord Progression A repeating sequence of chords - relates to structure and harmony.
Comping Pattern The accompaniment rhythm that compliments the melody. Also known as a strumming pattern.
Riff A repeated musical idea in contemporary/ popular forms of music. Can either be melodic or chordal.
12 Bar Blues A popular chord progression used as the foundation of many Jazz, Rock and Country music.
Sforzando Literally means subito forte, which translates to “suddenly with force.”
Pentatonic scale A 5 note scale that uses characteristic pitches selected from the natural Major or Minor Scale.
Blues scale A variation of the Minor Pentatonic scale that adds the Flat 5 scale degree.
Sequence The restatement of a melodic or harmonic passage at different registers.
Call & Response The “taking turns” in the performance of melodic/ rhythmic material.
The Head The main melody of a swing, blues or “jazz” song.
Harmonic Turn-Around A short sequence of chords that cycle around and lead back to the “home” chord or restart the piece of music.
The Jazz Blues A more complex version of the 12 bar blues that uses lots of Harmonic Turn-Arounds.
Modulation Changing Keys within a song.
Melisma Singing one syllable across many notes.
Created by: hwalden
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