Sandy Brown Jazz

 

 

An Alternative List of

Musical Definitions

for Jazz Musicians

Click on a picture and see what you get.

 

 

Arrangement - Coming to an agreement with other musicians about the way you have organised a piece of music.

 

Bar Queue

 

Bar Line - A measure of how many people turned up for the gig.

 

 

Max Boyce Barry Island

 

Baritone - Colourful Welsh island

 

Bongo - French for 'Good To Go'.

 

Can-Can - Musician's reassuring mantra.

 

Capriccio – A quick coffee.

 

Cha Cha - Tea for two.

 

Chamber Music – Music of convenience.

 

Chart - Musical notation to help musicians guage how far a tune is 'cool' or 'hot'

 

Concussion Idiophone - Knockout performance by a drummer beating together two items of percussion.

 

Da Capo - Ruthless bandleader who makes offers you can't refuse.

 

Whiplash Fletcher

 

Drone - Jazz played robotically rather than by a musician
e.g. as in 'Flying Home (by remote control)' or Angel Eyes in the Skies.

 

Free Jazz - Music that it doesn’t cost you any money to listen to.2

 

Galliard - Similar to a slim guitar player / pianist.

 

Slim Gaillard

 

 

Grave - Where musicians go to decompose.

 

Gregorian Chant – Impatient Gregory Porter Fans.

 

Harmonic - Mouth Organ with a note missing.

 

Harmony - Payment to a band after a gig

 

Money

 

 

Head Arrangement - Creative mind over matter

 

Carmen Miranda

 

 

Hymn - Sexist term applied to a piece of religious music. Similarly the word 'Amen' is used rather than 'Awomen'.

 

a Lick - Using a Mouth Organ

 

Mancando - Jazz chauvinism. 3

 

Metronome – Busker of short stature on the Paris Metro.1

 

Metronome

 

 

Modulation - Mad about Lambrettas, Paul Weller and The Jam.

 

 

Justin Bua Jazz Trio

picture by Justin Bua

Modulate - A young pretentious vegan jazz musician who arrives late to rehearsals wearing the suit from the night before.2

 

Nachtmusik - Term used by people who don't understand jazz. (as in: 'That's Nachtmusik!')

 

Obbligato - Student or Manager's fees.

 

Oboe - Wandering musician of no fixed abode.

 

Yusef Lateef

 

 

One Step - Predecessor of Hip-Hop

 

Orchestration – a musical arrangement cut off in its prime.

 

Austin Powers

 

Ostinato - a tomato eaten during the jazz flute solo
at the beginning of the Austin Powers movie.2

 

Overture - Passing from one soloist to another.

 

Perpetuum Mobile - People who don't turn their phones off during a gig.

 

Piped Music – Music indigenous to the Scottish Highlands and Dagenham.1

 

Piped Music

 

 

Pitch - Making a case to a club owner to book your band.

 

Pitching a product

 

 

Practice Pad - Drummer with a basement flat

 

Presa - Sign in musical notation that indicates that a Lester Young solo is coming.

 

Prima Donna - High quality kebab

 

Pulse - Way of telling whether the audience is still awake / alive.

 

Quadrille - Strange dance where participants get thrown out to sea with lobsters.

 

Lobster Quadrille

 

 

Quaver – Stage fright.1

 

Relative major and minor - Sister in the Salvation Army and brother who plays with the colliery brass band.

 

Guys and Dolls image

 

 

Rubato – Music for a foot massage.

 

Runs – after effects of a vindaloo.1

 

Sackbut - Bags' Groove (sometimes played by an early form of trombone).

 

Sforzando - Tune dedicated to Zando

 

Singspiel - Rap

 

Solo - A note by a single instrument or voice as far down the register as possible.

 

Bass and Baritone sax

 

 

 

Sonic Harmonic - Hedgehog with a mouth organ

 

 

Soprano - Gangster's girlfriend who wants to be a singer.

 

The Sopranos

 

 

 

Spinet - Skill acquired by DJs

 

Subdominant – Masochist.1

 

Suite - Praise for a solo or a piece of music.

 

Super Tonic - A tonic that comes with the gin already in it.

 

Gin and Tonic

 

 

Tarantella - A singing spider

 

Timbre - A warning cry best heeded when walking in the vicinity of lumberjacks. 3

 

Lumberjack Big Band

 

 

Tre Corde - The basis of rock 'n' roll.3

 

Status Quo

 

Tremolo - Member of Brian Poole's band.

 

Brian Poole and the Tremoloes


 

Triad – booking agency operating from Chinatown.1

 

Trill - Birdsong effect or an exciting piece of Irish improvisation.

 

Triple Tonguing - A Trio of Mouth Organs

 

Tuba - Instrument for playing Roots music

Tuber

 

 

Villanelle - A French term used in the 16th century for pastoral poems or songs, later applied to compositions by composers such as Georg Philipp Telemann, Hector Berlioz, and Paul Dukas. Later still applied to a certain femme fatale.

 

Xylophone – Small toy musical instrument often given as gifts to children who show their appreciation by playing it constantly, over and over, all day long; see also ‘drums’.

 

Yerba Buena – Spanish for ‘Good Grass’.1

 

Killer drug warning

 

If you would like to add to our list of definitions for jazz musicians please contact us.

 

1 - With thanks to Ron Rubin
2 - With thanks to Andrew Linham.
3 - With thanks to Dave Simms.


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