Talk:Bebop

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Cowboy Bebop[edit]

They must create new dreams and films by breaking traditional styles. They are sick and tired of conventional fixed style jazz. ...the work, which becomes a new genre itself, will be called COWBOY BEBOP ...will play without fear of risky things. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.128.161.124 (talk) 17:00, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Massey Hall lineup[edit]

Is there any evidence that the 1953 Massey Hall lineup even played together in the 1940s? As far as I know while all the players had certainly played together many times, it was a supergroup put together for that particular occasion. -- I'm also a little dubious about the stuff near the end about the "bebop scales". I know these are used to teach bebop-playing to students nowadays but is there any evidence that this codification of the style existed early on? I think it's actually probably a formulation/rationalization introduced by players/theorists like Barry Harris later on. ND 22:15, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

ACK. There is no indication that The Quintet was something comparable to a regular working band at any time during the forties or later. Also, one could argue that Mingus doesn't really epitomize Bebop bass, his style went for a broader conception of jazz very early on. On the other hand, many musicians and historians credit Oscar Pettiford as being the major stylist on the bass (cf. his Man I Love-solo with Hawkins). Plus, the truth be told, Powell's playing on the Massey Hall recording – he wasn't in very good physical/psychological shape that night – is a far cry from his style (that being essentially a trio, not so much a combo conception). His comping on All The Things You Are in particular may be sort of impressive from a pianistic viewpoint – even that I find doubtful – but it's got very little in common with what constitutes "typical" bebop piano comping. -- With all due respect for Barry Harris, I'd leave all the bop scale stuff out. As a musician, I find it an interesting approach, but there is – to my ears at least – no aural evidence whatsoever to support the idea that Bird, Dizzy, and everybody thought along those lines. --Rainer Lewalter 12:01, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
...yet another thing: IMHO that bit about writing entirely new compositions based on existing chord changes, later known as contrafacts or contrafactions, was uncommon until the bebop era overstates the point, don't you think? Cf. the dozens of traditional jazz compositions using Tiger Rag changes. Sure, these are much less characteristic or distinctive than e.g. All The Things You Are or How High The Moon, but the implication here is that the boppers came up with the entire basic idea, whereas in fact in this field, like so many others, they weren't really all that revolutionary, but took the tradition of the music to a consequent and logical next level... well ok, that's with the benefit of hindsight, but still. --Rainer Lewalter 12:53, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments--see if my edit of the page addresses these concerns. I think it's OK now; my one remaining concern is the paragraph that turns to modal jazz, which I think confuses matters more than helps them by referencing a later style. And again, there seems to me to be a smuggling-in of later codifications of bebop that were not to my knowledge quite put that way at the time: I gather that Berklee-style teaching is big on "each chord has its scale", but that's not necessarily how bebop or modal jazz approached things. (For instance, the key thinker in this period about modal jazz, George Russell, emphasized that musicians needn't bother to play over every possible scale--besides such "vertical" approaches he also advocated "horizontal" approaches a la Lester Young.) -- The main problem with this entire entry so far is that while it's quite detailed on the music-theory aspect of bebop, it has nil on the social/cultural history or even a straightforward narrative of how it came to be born (no mention of Minton's, Eckstine or Hines' bands, &c &c). Someone want to take a crack at this? I can't find my copy of the Deveaux book at the moment or else I'd start this myself.... ND 14:29, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Hi Ndorward, yes, those edits sure make sense (IMHO at least). Concerning the broader perspective on the music, I also agree. I do have to admit, though, that I just finished an extended article on the compositional aspects of bebop in the German-language Wikipedia and for the moment I'm a bit exhausted :-) I haven't the faintest idea, to be sure, if you could manoeuvre your way through a German text, but here it is anyway de:Bebop head. As I said, it's only about the compositions as such and leaves out everything that's more strictly related to bop's key feature, improvisation. In the context, all the good old stories about Minton's and Monroe's made little sense, whereas other aspects of the bebop community are more closely scrutinized (e.g. all of the copyright fee business, where there's a lot of legends around which have been recycled over and over since Gitler's earlier books). Well, anyway, there's lots of audio samples and music files in that one, and whatever you think might come in useful here, you're welcome to transfer- I uploaded all the files on WP Commons. --Rainer Lewalter 19:33, 1 May 2006 (UTC)


It is so that pettiford was the bebop bassist back at minton's. Bud powell was there, too, and along with monk he is the original bebop pianist.

but bebop as a form owes the most to Bird, of course. Diz was the perfect bop trumpet player for the time but parker invented it - he fully realized, musically, what the minton's crowd had been toying with for a while but couldn't quite coalesce. I need to source all this.

By Massey Hall, bop's obtuseness (to most ears) had removed jazz from the pop charts (permanently, for the most part). But it had its core of fans, white and black. Massey is the complete realization of 13 years of bop experimentation and growth. It isn't definitive musically, it's more of historical significance than anything. As to the math and theory, that's good stuff. And it does need to get supplemented (which I will try to work on) with cultural meaings, and musical terms more friendly to the layperson.

gratitude to all you jazz fans.' '''

Samples[edit]

Is it just me, or do the given audio samples contradict everything that the article says about bebop? None of them are "extremely fast tempo", and a couple of them sound more like swing than bop to my ears. David McCabe 09:04, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Man, this is one of those times when the state of copyright law really annoys me. It's almost impossible to get any sort of feel for the music in 20 seconds; these samples strike me as just about useless. Er. I've uploaded another one, though, for good measure. (As far as sounding like swing -- the selection of samples seems biased toward early bop, and toward head sections.) Tlogmer ( talk / contributions ) 17:50, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Target Audience[edit]

I'm a music fan with a limited knowledge of jazz. I came to this page wanting to know about bebop, and was not able to learn much information from this article.

I'm not a complete musical novice; I can play a few instruments (poorly). But the bulk of this article is music theory that can probably only be understood by someone who already knows what bebop is. I don't wish to criticize what has been written, but only point out that there needs to be more information targeted to he casual reader.

I would suggest some of the following topics to be covered: (based on questions I had)

How did bebop come about?

What was the cultural context that surrounded it?

What contributions did some important musicians make?

What kind of cultural impact did it make?

What is the state of bebop music today?

Also, if the paragraph that starts with "Bebop differed drastically from the highly organized compositions" was moved right under the opening paragraph of the style section, it might help. I can understand the first paragraph and that paragraph fairly well.

History[edit]

Anyone else find the emphasis on Hawkins' "Body & Soul" to the exclusion of virtually every other influence on the beboppers rather misleading & bizarre? I mean, yes, it's a key performance & it has some features (like tritone substitutions) that were central to bebop performance, but I don't see that the entire movement hangs on the once recording. I guess this emphasis on Hawkins to the virtual exclusion of other key influences like Lester Young, Roy Eldridge (Gillespie's major role-model) & Art Tatum is the result of DeVeaux's The Birth of Bebop...... -- I have deleted some flowery, nonsensical phrases from the article, which seemed to me more about alliteration & internal rhymes ("great/sedate") than actually saying anything useful. --ND 16:20, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree 100% — Preceding unsigned comment added by 47.208.11.42 (talk) 04:54, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

Bebop or Be-bop?[edit]

There are several different spellings of bebop in the article, even though the article title is bebop. What's your take on this? www.etymonline.com sources it as bebop. I'm not sure which to use. Can you give your input on this? Wikiisawesome 16:51, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

I believe it should be bebop in order to display a constant on the spelling. I am choosing "bebop" because of the etymoline.com source. Wikifriendawesome 12:26, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Damn Royal Family[edit]

Why do we have to hear so much about a couple of Brits getting married. So annoying to hear about them all the time —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.60.239.103 (talk) 04:44, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Answers...[edit]

The Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary 2002 edition calls it bebop, so I'm going to go ahead and change all mentions of be-bop to bebop. As well, rif should be spelled riff, so I'll change that too soon. If I miss any of them, fix them for me. Wikiisawesome 14:05, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Music Theory[edit]

How much music theory is appropriate here? There seems to me vastly more of it here (some of it very full of typos & awkwardnesses) than necessary, & I can't see what the point is of e.g. explaining tritone subs at length when there is already a page on it on Wikipedia (linked to in the article). I realize that the recent edits were done in good faith, but they just seem to me to bloat the article to no great purpose, & give the reader a misleading impression that bebop is primarily some abstruse note-spinning exercise. --ND 03:31, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

The music theory is important to those who want to learn how to play bebop-style music by using chord progressions and the like. I found the theory on the page to be quite interesting! Wikiisawesome 11:41, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, yes, but should an encyclopedia entry be designed as a music instruction handbook? It's meant for general-interest readers not aspiring jazzbos. & if you seriously want to learn to play bebop there are a lot better places to go. --ND 04:44, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

What other good sites are there, just out of curiosity? I like the chord progression page on Wikipedia; it's pretty good. I think you have a valid point, though. The page may be too hardcore for some. Wikiisawesome 11:35, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I actually think some of the theoretical discussion in this article is POV or inaccurate. For example, what's "perverse" about chromatic passing tones? And saying that bebop musicians didn't use the lydian dominant is misleading at best, and downright wrong at worst--bebop musicians may not have been thinking of it as a mode of melodic minor, but they certainly must have been playing that scale when improvising over a dominant 7#11 chord. (Arguably, if they were soloing over a tritone sub, they must have been using the altered scale as well, since it's equivalent to the lydian dominant a tritone away, but you could make a stronger case that if they were thinking of it over the tritone sub's root, they weren't really playing in that scale.) Rictus 17:04, 28 May 2007 (UTC)


Some recent changes...[edit]

I see these sentences have just been added:

"But to jazz musicians and lovers in the public, bebop was an exciting and beautiful revolution in the art of jazz. From an historical standpoint bebop is a kind of synthesis of flux and permanence. As a permanent legacy, it stresses certain elements that have made jazz perhaps the most stable tradition in the history of modern western music. Yet in contrast to this permanence, it is primarily bebop that makes possible a lot of the inner diversity and freedom of jazz."

These strike me as more about expressing enthusiasm for the music than actually saying anything informative. In particular I have no idea what counts as "modern western music" or "stability" for the author but it seems a dubious generalization about a music that hasn't even been around for more than 60 years or so. --ND 22:48, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Bebop is also a style[edit]

The era it commenced in or purportedly ended in is only relevant up to a point. If this is going to be a point of contention then I suggest that we find a way to edit the article so that those who play in the bebop style are included or put on a separate list or something similar to that. I may go ahead and make edits pursuant to a solution to this particular problem if I think of an easy way to do it, :Albion moonlight 00:47, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Keith Jarrett and Freddie Hubbard are not known as bebop musicians. I have no doubt that they can and have played in that style, but it is a huge stretch to add them to the existing list of classic 1940s beboppers.Verklempt 01:29, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Actually there are over 51,OO google advance search match ups that go against your position on Freddie Hubbard. But before we start splitting hairs, allow me to suggest that we do as they have done on the Blues article list here. I like the idea of using eras to demarcate such things. The Wiki article does not do this but I would not object to it if it did. I love Bebop and all forms of Jazz.

The case for Jarrett is different and I will bracket it for now because his style has been all over the place and he is not even close to being in the cutoff era suggested here.  : Albion moonlight 02:23, 2 December 2007 (UTC)


Etymology of Word[edit]

According to Thelonious Monk in Time magazine 1964 he coined the term, or at least inspired it:

" The name of the new sound, Monk now says, was a slight misunderstanding of his invention: "I was calling it bipbop, but the others must have heard me wrong." [1]

This seems like a pretty reliable source to me. If it were untrue I would think someone would have disputed it since Time is about as mainstream as it gets.24.5.188.169 (talk) 11:08, 7 January 2008 (UTC)


First emergence of the Word?[edit]

The intro to the article states that the word 'Bebop'"first surfaced in musicians' argot some time during the first two years of the Second World War." This is somewhat ambiguous - the first two years of WWII range from '37 and '38 if you're Japanese or Chinese, to '42 and '43 if you're American. do we have a citation for earliest use? TheAstonishingBadger (talk) 05:29, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

The presumption on English Wikipedia about an American cultural product would be according to the U.S. timeline, I think. —Zujine|talk 01:57, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Standards[edit]

The old list of bebop jazz standards was just merged&redirected to (the now fully-referenced) List of jazz standards (per discussion at talk). You may wish to incorporate a small/referenced part of the old/new lists in this article. Just a note. -- Quiddity (talk) 18:56, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Fats Navarro[edit]

Fats Navarro died in 1950,so I wonder how much smoothing out he did? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.112.16.50 (talk) 19:54, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Not much, probably. I took the liberty of smoothing his name right out of the article. —Zujine|talk 01:52, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

2nd sound sample neither shows nor plays[edit]

The article's Musical style section shows a sound sample box which contains strangely visible elements, showing in square brackets that, if I'm not mistaken, are supposed to produce working links - not to show themselves on the article page with the very characters they contain in editing mode, and should show there only. Plus, there is something that seems like sort of a typo: the first presumptive dysfunctional link's code opens with a singular square bracket, followed by colon, "File", colon, vertical dash, "All The Things You Are", and closes with a double square bracket. Before taking a closer look at the second (at least not uneaven in this respect, as it both opens and closes with double square brackets), I thought perhaps the first colon should rather be a second opening square bracket instead, and opened the editing mode to try if this would work (in preview version, of course) - to see ... nothing of all that.

Instead, an opening double curly bracket is followed by "listen"; next line: vertical dash, one blank, "filename", three blanks, equals sign; next line: vertical dash, one blank, "title", eight blanks, equals sign, blank, "All The Things You Are"; next line: vertical dash, one blank, "description", two blanks, equals sign, blank, "By ... (name-link which surprisingly works, album-link which doesn't - but perhaps the usual kind of red links waiting for completing articles to come); next (and last) line: closing double curly bracket. But nothing except the two last sub-links leading to a sound sample or giving the least hint how it could be filled in, as the code is totally different from the simple typeable square brackets (single for external weblinks, double for Wikipedia-internal ones). That's somewhat puzzling - and for average users impossible to correct.

  • So, generally: what sort of error-prone template is this based upon? Because if it were a simple(r) code, typed or pasted directly into the editing page/field, it ought to show at least all the elements which erroneously are visible on the article page (including the contents of the second - double square - brackets: "File:|220px|noicon|alt=") - as it doesn't, some more complex sort of script stuff seems to be involved. If this is so unreliable, why can't soundfiles be linked as simply (and, if typos occur, easy to correct) as i. e. pictures?
  • And specifically: could one of the skilled adepts here be so kind to eventually fix this one?
212.17.89.244 (talk) 08:56, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Strange (I swear I heard no one singing "heigh-ho"): now the first of the dysfunctional links also both opens and closes with double square brackets, but the initial colon is still there, and everything that wouldn't work previously still doesn't. -212.17.89.244 (talk) 09:24, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

The file was deleted from Wikipedia, because it had been duplicated at commons, however it was also deleted at commons:File:Bird Of Paradise.ogg because it was a copyright violation.
So, I've 'fixed it' by deleting the template entirely. Sadly.
As for why it's more complicated syntax than an image, that is to provide the "Play" button, which may or may not work seamlessly depending on ones browser/access-method.
Thanks for the detailed notes, and sorry I couldn't rescue it completely. –Quiddity (talk) 18:43, 15 July 2013 (UTC)