BeBop

BeBop

Jazz music moves off the dance floor.

Cultural Origin

Mid 1940s in various locations

Prominent Artists

Ray Brown, Kenny Clarke, Tadd Dameron, Fats Navarro, Bud Powell, Sonny Stitt

Influenced By

Jazz, Swing

Later Influenced

Hard bop, Cool, Post-Bop, Modern Jazz

From left: Tommy Potter, Charlie Parker, Max Roach
From left: Tommy Potter, Charlie Parker, Max Roach

About The Genre

The development of bebop in the 1940s is crucial to understanding jazz as we know it. A product of jam sessions, big bands, small combos, and countless hours of "woodshedding," the musical language of bebop included rapid tempos, dissonant chords and melodic lines, tritone and other chordal substitutions, extensive chromaticism, off-beat piano accompaniment ("comping"), walking bass lines, poly-rhythmic drumming, and, perhaps most important, a focus on extended, improvised soloing on the front-line instruments. Swing-era heavyweights such as Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Roy Eldridge, Art Tatum, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Blanton, and Walter Page had previously explored aspects of this language in the 1930s, but they came together in spectacular fashion in the work of Charlie Parker, John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie, and Thelonious Monk, to name a handful of bebop's best-known practitioners. – Eric Porter "Dizzy Atmosphere": The Challenge of Bebop." American Music 17, no. 4 (1999)

Trivia/Famous Lyrics

DId you know...

The word bebop appeared in several jazz songs in the early 20th century, including "Four or Five Times" by McKinney's Cotton Pickers in 1928 and the novelty song "I'se a A-Muggin' " in 1936. There is some debate about how the term first came to describe a specific type of music. Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Christian and Thelonious Monk have all been credited by different historians as the originator.

Artists from this genre

Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker

The Bird.

Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie

Innovator of bebop and Afro-Cuban jazz.

John Coltrane

John Coltrane

He pushed the boundries of jazz.

Sarah Vaughan

Sarah Vaughan

The Devine One.

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The big bands get smaller and grittier.

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The blues plugs in.

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The biggest musical phenomenon of the 20th-century.

Doo-Wop

Doo-Wop

Rich vocal harmonies combined with teen romance.