The New Orleans tenderloin district in which some of the first jazz musicians played. (Storyville was closed in 1917 by the Secretary of the Navy.)


A hot, up-tempo U.S. blend of Cuban, jazz, Panamanian, and Puerto Rican musics.


An electronic device that allows an analog sound to be captured, digitally converted, and played back by an electronic instruments such as the keyboards or guitar.


A succession of notes (usually a half tone or a whole tone apart), arranged in ascending or descending order.


The use of vocables and syllables instead of words while improvising vocally.

I'm Walkin' This Town (1941) - Spirits Of Rhythm


The interval between two adjacent scale tones.

second line

The dancing crowd that follows a marching band in New Orleans; a rhythm associated with New Orleans street bands.

Terrence Higgins, second line drumming

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Half of the interval of a whole tone.


An Cuban orchestra developed in the late 1920s by adding a trumpet to a sexteto (Latin).


An electronic device that stores a series of tones to be played back later. An entire performance or composition can be built up from such sequences that have been stored and manipulated.


A Cuban orchestra from 1920 with tres, guitar, bass, bongos, maracas, and claves (Latin).


Extreme vibrato on a brass instrument.


Also "shedding." See woodshed.


A rhythm used in earlier jazz, based on uneven triplets, and deriving from a dance step in which the feet move across the floor without being lifted.


An popping effect created by striking the tongue against the mouthpiece of a reed instrument (early jazz).


A rough, often loud slide away from a tone.

smooth jazz

A later development of fusion in which elements of rhythm and blues and pop music were distilled and refined by the formulas and constraints of radio to become bright and recognizable melodies (though ironically often recorded with audiophile sensibilities in mind). Recent smooth jazz owes little to jazz, and might better be seen as instrumental pop music. (Smooth jazz is sometimes called "lite jazz" or "contemporary jazz.")

Sade, "Smooth Operator" (1984)

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sock cymbal

A large cymbal, often used for the heaviest accents.


An improvised section of a piece of music by a single player


A classic Cuban dance and song form originated near the turn of the 20th century and continued and varied in modern Cuban-derived pop music (Latin).

Quinteto Son de la Loma

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song form

See popular song forms.

soul jazz

One of the musics included under the name of hard bop (c. mid- to late 1950s). It uses speech-inflected tonality, folk, blues or church-based melodies and rhythms (frequently 6/8), the electric organ, and other elements identified with funk.

Jimmy Smith in "Get Yourself a College Girl" (1964)

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An acknowledged, popular piece of music in the jazz repertory.

stock arrangement

A commercially published musical arrangement.


A rhythmic device in which the accompanying instruments play a few notes of the rhythm with especially sharp accents, exaggerating the rhythm which, despite its name, does not stop. The "Charleston" rhythm is the most famous of stop-time figures.

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


A more accurate or "legitimate" manner of playing which sticks close to the original music; a notably "square" way of playing.

straight eights

Eighth notes played evenly.

stretch out

An opportunity to play as long as one wishes to.


A style of piano playing (c. 1917-1930) with a strong left hand pattern that rapidly moves between bass notes and chords, and uses a wide range of pianistics to decorate melodies and create variations on themes.

Mike Lipskin (2007)

The Trolley Song (1961) - Donald Lambert

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A pianist strolls when he or she lays out and allows the rest of the rhythm section to be heard.

sweet band

A group that plays music that avoids jazz style (swing era) and plays it straight.


(1) Playing with "swing eighth notes"; (2) a form of syncopation, specifically off-beat accentuation, putting emphasis just before or after an expected beat, or emphasizing an unexpected beat; (3) a style of jazz popular in the 1930s and 1940s played by large dance bands; (4) a term of evaluation, as in "she swings."

Benny Goodman, "Swing, Swing, Swing" (1937)

Begin The Beguine (1938) - Artie Shaw & His Orchestra

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swing eighth notes

See swing.


The accenting of weak beats; a momentary disturbance of a regular rhythm. (See cross rhythm.)

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