Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Jazz glossary

Here's something useful, from A Passion For Jazz: an online glossary of jazz terms. It's not perfect. The entry for the word jive, for example:

Jive: the jargon of hipsters.

Jive is a widely used term among jazz musicians, and it has no positive connotation today. It's basically synonymous with bullshit, usually having to do with bullshit playing. Mostly used as a noun, not so much as a verb any more.

And there's this:

Hipster (or Hepster): One who is Hip (or Hep.)

Just no, on that one. Not just no: hipster is a dead term in the jazz world, except as it's used in the broader populace to describe young people living in Brooklyn or Portland. Hip is definitely used a lot, hep is strictly comedy, like if you're portraying a really clueless undercover cop or guidance councilor.

Disappointed that there is no entry for the adjective happening.

So the slang entries are kind of jive, but it's worth checking out for any actual musical terms you've heard, but don't know.

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