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  1. Allemande
  2. Argentine Tango
  3. Bachata
  4. Ballet
  5. Ballroom dance
  6. Bebop
  7. Beguine
  8. Bellydance
  9. Blues dance
  10. Bolero
  11. Boogie-woogie
  12. Bossa Nova
  13. Bouree
  14. Breakaway
  15. Breakdancing
  16. Cake walk
  17. Can-can
  18. Ceremonial dance
  19. Cha-cha-cha
  20. Chaconne
  21. Charleston
  22. Choreography
  23. Club dance
  24. Competitive dance
  25. Contact improvisation
  26. Contemporary dance
  27. Contra dance
  28. Country dance
  29. Courante
  30. Cumbia
  31. Dance notation
  32. Disco
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  34. Finnish tango
  35. Flamenco
  36. Folk dance
  37. Formation dance
  38. Foxtrot
  39. Free dance
  40. Funk dance
  41. Galliard
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  44. Glossary of ballet terms
  45. Glossary of dance moves
  46. Glossary of partner dance terms
  47. Gymnopaedia
  48. Habanera
  49. Hip hop dance
  50. Historical dance
  51. Hully Gully
  52. Hustle
  53. Intercessory dance
  54. Jazz dance
  55. Jig
  56. Jitterbug
  57. Jive
  58. Labanotation
  59. Lambada
  60. Latin dance
  61. Line dance
  62. List of dance style categories
  63. Macarena
  64. Mambo
  65. Mazurka
  66. Merengue
  67. Milonga
  68. Minuet
  69. Modern Dance
  70. Modern Jive
  71. Novelty dance
  72. Participation dance
  73. Partner dance
  74. Paso Doble
  75. Passacaglia
  76. Passepied
  77. Pavane
  78. Performance dance
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  81. Polonaise
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  105. Swing dance
  106. Tap dance
  107. Tarantella
  108. The Watusi
  109. Twist
  110. Twist
  111. Viennese Waltz
  112. Waltz
  113. Western dance
  114. Wheelchair dance sport
  115. Worship dance


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Bebop or bop is a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos and improvisation based on harmonic structure rather than melody. It was developed in the early and mid-1940s. It first surfaced in musicians' argot some time during the first two years of the Second World War. Hard bop later developed from bebop combined with blues and gospel music.

Musical Style

Bebop differed drastically from the straightforward compositions of the swing era, and was instead characterized by fast tempos, complex harmonies, intricate melodies, and rhythm sections that expanded on their role as tempo-keepers. The music itself was jarringly different to the ears of the public, who were used to the bouncy, organized, danceable tunes of Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller during the swing era. Instead, bebop appeared to sound racing, nervous, and often fragmented. But to jazz musicians and lovers in the public, bebop was an exciting and beautiful revolution in the art of jazz.

While swing music tended to feature scripted big band arrangements, bebop music was much more free in its structure. Typically, a theme would be presented in unison at the beginning and the end of each piece, with improvisational solos making up the body of the work. Thus, the majority of a song in bebop style would be free improvisation, the only threads holding the work together being the underlying harmonies played by the rhythm section.

Bebop music extended the jazz vocabulary by exploring new harmonic territory through the use of altered chords and chord substitutions (using a different chord than originally composed). While this produced a more colorful and rich harmonic sound than past jazz styles, it also required a highly trained musician to execute well. Melodies grew in complexity from those of swing jazz, and began to twist, turn, and jump rapidly to follow quickly-changing chord progressions.

As bebop grew from its swing-era roots, these progressions often were taken directly from from popular swing-era songs and reused with a new and more complex bebop melody, forming new compositions known as a contrafacts. While contrafaction was already a well-established practice in earlier jazz, it came to be central to the bebop style. Musicians and audiences alike were able to find something familiar in this new exotic sound, but perhaps more importantly, small record labels such asSavoy, often avoided paying copyright fees for pop tunes.

Specific Harmonic Vocabulary

Bebop was heavily characterized by the flatted fifth. The flattened fifth, one of the two strong dissonances on the diatonic scale, was a relatively new addition to popular music at the time. Although it had occasionally been used for passing chords or special harmonic effects in the 20s or 30s, and is an intrinsic member of the "blues" scale derived from African music, the feature had never played an integral role in the foundation of a style to the extent it does in bebop. After roughly a decade, the flattened fifth would become a blue note just as common as the undetermined thirds and sevenths in traditional blues.

This is related to the harmonic technique of tritone substitution. Here, the familiar series of perfect cadences is replaced by chromatic motion of the root. Thus, the standard "IIm7 - V7 - I" sequence, a building block of the 20th century popular song, is reconstructed as "IIm7 - ♭II7 - I". A bebop pianist, confronted with a chord marked as G7 (G dominant seventh) resolving to C, would often replace it with D♭7 (D♭ dominant seventh). The tritone substitution could also be used within a standard dominant (V7) chord: for example, the G7 chord above could be a Db7 chord with G as the bass (another example of a flatted fifth).

Later codifications of bebop harmony emerged, notably in the teachings of pianist/educator Barry Harris, who encouraged players to learn "bebop scales" for improvising such as the Bebop Dominant 7th Scale (8 7 b7 6 5 4 3 2 1) and the Bebop Major Scale (1 2 3 4 5 #5 6 7). A feature of these scales is that when they are played in 8ths, up or down, players automatically play a tone featured in the corresponding chord on every 4/4 beat. These scales are often disguised by playing them through segments of an octave, changing direction on chord tones, or enclosing chord tones with a chromatic tone above and below the chord tone. Both of these techniques allow the improviser to embellish the bebop scale without sacrificing the effect of chord tones on every 4/4 beat.


The classic bebop combo consisted of saxophone, trumpet, bass, drums, and piano. This was a format used (and popularized) by both Charlie Parker (alto sax) and Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet) in their 1940s groups and recordings, sometimes augmented by an extra saxophonist or guitar.

Although only one part of a rich jazz tradition, bebop music continues to be played regularly throughout the world. Trends in improvisation since its era have changed from its harmonically-tethered style, but the capacity to improvise over a complex sequence of altered chords is a fundamental part of any jazz education. Bebop requires a mathematical and problem-solving mental agility, leading mastery of this language to be something of a rite of passage.


  • Berendt, Joachim E. The Jazz Book: From Ragtime to Fusion and Beyond. Trans. Bredigkeit, H. and B. with Dan Morgenstern. Westport, CT: Lawrence Hill & Co., 1975.
  • Deveaux, Scott.. The Birth of Bebop: A Social and Musical History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.
  • Gioia, Ted. The History of Jazz. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Baillie, Harold B. Swing to Bop: An Oral History of the Transition of Jazz in the 1940s. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.
  • Rosenthal, David. Hard bop: Jazz and Black Music, 1955-1965. New York : Oxford University Press, 1992.


  • Download sample of "Bird of Paradise" by Charlie Parker from In a Soulful Mood
  • Download sample of "Cheryl", featuring Charlie Parker and Miles Davis
  • Download sample of "Ruby My Dear" by Thelonious Monk
  • Download sample of "Indian Summer" by Stan Getz
  • Download sample of "I Can't Get Started" by Eddie Lockjaw Davis

Bebop musicians

Notable musicians identified with bebop:

  • Cannonball Adderley, alto sax
  • Clifford Brown, trumpet
  • Ray Brown, bass
  • Don Byas, tenor sax
  • Charlie Christian, guitar
  • Kenny Clarke, drums
  • Tadd Dameron, piano
  • Miles Davis, trumpet
  • Kenny Dorham, trumpet
  • Curtis Fuller, trombone
  • Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet
  • Dexter Gordon, tenor sax
  • Wardell Gray, saxophone
  • Al Haig, piano
  • Barry Harris, piano
  • Percy Heath, bass
  • Milt Jackson, vibes
  • J.J. Johnson, trombone
  • Duke Jordan, piano
  • Stan Levey, drums
  • Lou Levy, piano
  • John Lewis, piano
  • Charles Mingus, bass
  • Thelonious Monk, piano
  • Fats Navarro, trumpet
  • Charlie Parker, alto sax
  • Chet Baker, trumpet
  • Oscar Pettiford, bass
  • Tommy Potter, bass
  • Bud Powell, piano
  • Max Roach, drums
  • Red Rodney, trumpet
  • Sonny Rollins, tenor sax
  • Sonny Stitt, tenor and alto sax
  • Lucky Thompson, tenor sax
  • George Wallington, piano
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