An Alternative List of
for Jazz Musicians
Click on a picture and see what you get.
Bongo - French for 'Good To Go'.
Capriccio – A quick coffee.
Chamber Music – Music of convenience.
Drone - Jazz played robotically rather than by a musician
e.g. as in 'Flying Home (by remote control)' or Angel Eyes in the Skies.
Galliard - Similar to a slim guitar player / pianist.
Gregorian Chant – Impatient Gregory Porter Fans.
Harmonic - Mouth Organ with a note missing.
Hymn - Sexist term applied to a piece of religious music. Similarly the word 'Amen' is used rather than 'Awomen'.
Metronome – Musically challenged busker on the Paris Metro.1
Modulation - Mad about Lambrettas, Paul Weller and The Jam.
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.
Orchestration – a musical arrangement cut off in its prime.
Piped Music – Music indigenous to the Scottish Highlands and Dagenham.1
Quaver – Stage fright.1
Relative major and minor - Sister in the Salvation Army and brother who plays with the colliery brass band.
Rubato – Music for a foot massage.
Runs – after effects of a vindaloo.1
Sackbut - Bags' Groove (sometimes played by an early form of trombone).
Solo - A note by a single instrument or voice as far down the register as possible.
Soprano - Gangster's girlfriend who wants to be a singer.
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.
Tremolo - Member of Brian Poole's band.
Triad – booking agency operating from Chinatown.1
Trill - Birdsong effect or an exciting piece of Irish improvisation.
Xylophone – Small toy musical instrument often given as gifts to children who show their appreciation by playing the stupid thing constantly, over and over, all day long; see also ‘drums’.
Yerba Buena – Spanish for ‘Good Grass’.1
If you would like to add to our list of definitions for jazz musicians please contact us.
1 - With thanks to Ron Rubin
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