Musical Instrument Digital Interface: An electronic standard by which musical information can be exchanged between synthesizers and computers.

mainstream jazz

A name usually applied to the music played by musicians in the post-bop era who maintained a broad stylistic approach that was still in contact with earlier jazz styles.


A musical section added to the danzón form in the 1940s; a musical form with heavy jazz influence developed in the 1940s and 1950s (Latin).

Hong Kong Mambo, Tito Puente (1958)

Perez Prado, "Mambo No. 5"

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matrix number

Numbers and letters stamped near the center of a 78 RPM recording indicate the number of the take on the record.


A grouping of beats, which indicates the meter of a particular piece of music. (See also bar).

medium tempo

One of the three basic tempos of jazz, between ballad and up-tempo.


Melodic ornamentation by the use of more than one tone in singing a syllable.


A grouping of beats based on their repeating patterns. The pattern of note accents and values for a section or the whole of a piece of music (see bar, measure).


An interval smaller than a half tone.

modal jazz

Jazz played with slower moving harmonies; playing based on older modal scales, drones, or pedal points.

Maiden Voyage, Herbie Hancock (1965)

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The pitches within the octave that make up the melodic material of a performance or composition; a scale.


The change of key (or a change in rhythm) within a musical piece.

moldy fig

A 1940s modern jazz fan's derogatory term for a fan of traditional jazz.


A repeated two- or three-chord pattern on the piano played behind the coro and instrumental solos (Latin).

Oi Ne Khody Hyrtsin Tai Na Vechornytsi (Gregory, Don't Go To The Village Dances) (2006) - Chris Washburne & The SYOTOS Band

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motivic improvisation

The use of a few short fragments or elements of melody in developing a solo.


Playing instruments of different types as a means of expanding a musician's creative possibilities


A wind instrument or vocal technique by which more than one tone is produced simultaneously. (See also overblowing.)

James Morrison

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mutes, hats

Devices placed over the bell of a brass instrument for altering or softening the tone.

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