Main

T

tag

See coda.

tailgate

A style of trombone playing in early jazz that emphasized bass notes and the ability to play portamentos or "slurs."

talk

To "tell a story" or "say something" on an instrument: speech-inflected instrumental playing.

tango

An Argentine dance form and music with roots in the 19th century that spread across the world in the early 20th century and now exists in various forms and styles.

tape loop

A loop of recording tape that repeats a sound or sequence of sounds.

tempo

The speed at which a piece of music is moving.

third stream jazz

A form of music that uses both jazz and classical techniques and forms (especially in the late-1950s).

timbre

The quality of a tone or tones.

time

A general term for meter, but also the way in which drummers play meter.

tipico

"Typical," 'traditional," or "characteristic": a term used to identify popular forms of music with roots in the past of a number of Latin countries and regions.

tonality

Chords and their relationships; the organization of music around a single tone, the tonic.

tone

A single sound, its pitch, volume, timbre, and duration.

tone cluster

Three or more adjacent tones sounded simultaneously.

tonic

The key note of a musical piece; the first note of a scale.

top

The starting point of a chorus or a piece of music.

trad

A general term for traditional music, music of the 1900s to 1920s.

trading eights

Also "trading fours," etc. Soloists taking turns at improvising, playing for eight (or four, etc.) bars at a time.

transcription

An arrangement of a piece of music for an instrument or voice for which it was not originally intended.

tumbao

A repeated bass or left-hand piano pattern; various patterns usually played by the bongos. Along with the clave, the tumbao forms the basis of Cuban-derived music.

Continue reading "tumbao" »

turnaround

Also "turn back." The short chord pattern just before the musicians must "turnaround" to play the same larger passage again.

turning the beat around

Also "turning the rhythm section around." To lose the beat, either by mistake, or to briefly heighten tension before returning to the beat.

two-beat

Also "playing in two." A form of rhythm organization in which the first and third beats of the bar are emphasized (particularly by the bass), often leaving the second and fourth beats silent, with a resulting "boom-chick" feel. Two-beat was especially common in early jazz, but can be found in all eras.


Black Bottom Stomp (1926)
Jelly Roll Morton & His Red Hot Peppers

Continue reading "two-beat" »

Terms by letter

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X Y Z