Welcome to the Jazz Glossary

The Jazz Glossary is a multimedia index of vocabulary specific to the interdisciplinary field of jazz. It includes more than 250 terms ranging from the sounds and techniques of jazz music to relevant cultural and historical phenomena. (Terms that apply more generally to all musics are not included.) The Glossary can be used simply as a reference for individuals who want to learn more about jazz, as well as more formally as part of jazz studies curriculum for students of nearly any age.

Featured term

Lindy Hop - Also "Jitterbug." A popular dance that drew on a number of African American popular dances, including tap, the Charleston, the Texas Tommy, and others, and reached its peak in the 1930s and 1940s. It was a form of choreographed swing,...


Whitey's Lindy Hoppers (1941)

More featured terms

blues - (1) A 12-bar form built on the I, IV, and V chords; (2 ) a scale with a flatted third, fifth, and perhaps a seventh; (3) a poetic form; (4) a way of articulating tones; (5) a set of verbal...

popular song forms - The American popular song form derives from a long history of European folk song, theater music, and light opera, and was modified in America by Broadway musicals, African American folk songs, the blues, and other musics. The most common popular...

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