Videos on Bebop

What our scholars have to say about bebop

All About Jazz

By Nelly Ruach Jazz is by far one of the most prominent and well respected forms of music to have ever been created. This form

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Freddie Hubbard

Freddie Hubbard : The most influential artist in bop, hard-bop and post bop era Born in Indiana, Hubbard took an early liking to instruments in

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Jazz: The Iconic John Coltrane

JOHN COLTRANE Introduction: John Coltrane  was  an american jazz saxophonist, bandleader, and composer, an iconic figure of 20th-century jazz. He collaborated with a lot of

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Origin & Characteristics

Bebop is a style of Jazz that was developed in the 1940s. As more and more musicians were sent overseas to fight in WWII, the big bands that were key to the swing genre were split up, leading to the end of swing. Because of this, musical groups became smaller. Bebop groups consisted of one or two horns, bass, drums, and a piano, meaning that the musical focus shifted from intricate arrangements to improvisation and interaction. Bebop jazz is known for its improvisation, fast tempos, rhythmic unpredictability, and harmonic complexity. 

Social Implications & Important Performers

Since bebop focused more on the technical aspects of jazz than being danceable, it was not liked by many fans of swing jazz. Bebop was considered an intellectual style of music and demanded that it be considered an art form–not entertainment. This led to a presence of elitism among the genre that alienated many listeners. In this way, bebop removed jazz music from the mainstream. Some important bebop performers are Charlie Parker, alto saxophonist; Dizzy Gillespie, trumpeter; Thelonious Monk, pianist; and Max Roach, drummer. 

Commodification & Influence of Future Genres

Bebop jazz was played on radios and sold many records while it was in its prime. However, the demand for bebop jazz quickly fizzled out and shifted to cool jazz, which gained popularity between 1950 and 1955. Cool jazz was a reaction to bebop because it was a form of jazz that sounded very classical compared to bebop. After cool jazz, there was a revival of bebop in the rise of the hard bop genre, which was similar to bebop, but more melodic. Hard bop was a return to music that was more afro-centric and blues based. 

Conclusory Opinions

I enjoy listening to the bebop genre; I can really appreciate its complexity and artistry. Bebop gave band musicians a chance to show more personality in their compositions than just what was written on paper since they had the freedom to improvise. Because of their freedom, I feel that bebop musicians are more interesting than musicians in other genres. 

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