About 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.

Suggestions for improving definitions or adding new ones are welcome.


The terms contained in the Jazz Glossary were developed from a number of sources, and edited by John Szwed of Columbia University. Special thanks for their help to Professor Chris Washburne of Columbia University and Professor Lewis Porter and the graduate students of the Master's Program in Jazz History and Research of Rutgers University-Newark.

The Jazz Glossary Web site was developed by the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL), a service organization within Columbia University devoted to the purposeful use of technology in education. The Glossary was created with generous funding from the Ford Foundation.

Copyright Information

The Jazz Glossary is intended for educational use only. Embedded multimedia content may be subject to copyright restrictions. Unless otherwise expressly stated, all textual content in the Jazz Glossary is created by Columbia University and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

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