Bebop Essay

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Bebop is a style of jazz created around the era of the 1940’s. It was based around smaller groups of musicians of about 4 to 6 musicians rather than around 10 or more which big bands usually consisted of. This allowed for more solo opportunities and improvisation. The music composed was more complex e.g. harder melodies and involved more difficult chord progressions. Great examples of these are Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie. Base lines became more detailed rather than just a “walking bass” and there was more emphasis on the role of the rhythm section. Bebop was made to keep the listener interested and have odd phrases of timing. Furthermore it was not suitable for dancing unlike the swing era which was before bebop. Within this essay I will go into depth about all of these topics and hopefully you will have a greater understanding of each. The bands in bebop became a lot smaller. When this happened it opened up many more opportunities for solos and improvisation. Before the bebop era there was swing. In swing the bands were bigger, usually consisting of around ten men. Then when Bebop emerged the bands shrunk and consisted of around 4- 6 players. This blended nicely with the new complex style of music. There were fewer instruments and as a result of this it would not get too messy with riffs interfering with other riffs. The music written was more complex and created more difficult chord progressions. Swing had been around for many years and a change needed to be made. The listeners wanted more and bebop would give the listeners that interest that they desired as it was a new style. It was a new creation. The tempo increased greatly and kept the listeners entertained. However it was not the ideal type of music for dancing. Bebop was more than just more complex melodies however. The base line became more detailed. Rather than a “walking bass” it

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