Definition of bebop in US English:



  • A type of jazz originating in the 1940s and characterized by complex harmony and rhythms. It is associated particularly with Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and Dizzy Gillespie.

    • ‘As the trad boom took off, a schism developed between fans who maintained the ‘traditional’ style of New Orleans music was the only true jazz and modern fans inspired by Charlie Parker's bebop.’
    • ‘In these gently rocking gospel rhythms lies just enough effervescence to point the way toward pop music, just enough pain to point the way toward soul music and just enough swing to suggest the bustling bebop of jazz.’
    • ‘When I decided to study music, though, I decided to focus on jazz, particularly bebop, because it gives you a good foundation, a good way of knowing how the science of music works.’
    • ‘It was in these clubs that Kaufman would experiment with the complex rhythms of bebop.’
    • ‘Never one to shy away from diversity, Watanabe has blended straight jazz with bebop, Latin and even African rhythms in order to create some truly unique sounds.’
    • ‘During this time he has played bebop with Charlie Parker, free jazz with Ornette Coleman and Jimmy Giuffre, and fusion with Pat Metheny and Jaco Pastorius.’
    • ‘Maynard draws upon bebop, jazz, funk, swing, classical and contemporary music to create a fresh sound within the classical big band form.’
    • ‘He has studied and performed jazz from bebop to fusion, played as fluently with hardcore and heavy metal musicians as with soundtrack samples.’
    • ‘If, after bebop, jazz spread across Europe, that's because it was an epoch in which America fascinated many people.’
    • ‘Louis Armstrong was vocal about his dislike of the bebop innovations of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.’
    • ‘‘No Bop Hop Scop Blues’ was a band original that caustically assailed the emerging bebop intrusion on the jazz scene.’
    • ‘The Zen-derived notion of spontaneous improvisation became the essence of bebop, the post-war jazz movement.’
    • ‘What struck me for the first time was the relationship of this style with the style of jazz known as bebop, spurts of dissonant, jagged sound.’
    • ‘Charlie Parker may have pioneered bebop jazz, but Miles Davis helped him to establish it.’
    • ‘Pettiford was the bassist in Dizzy Gillespie's original bebop combo in 1943 and 1944, but by 1945 Gillespie needed a replacement.’
    • ‘It was during that festival that she teamed up with the great bebop trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie - pictured here, looking knackered but resplendent in his newly acquired tartan trousers - at the Central Hotel.’
    • ‘She was also friends with bebop wonders Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, and Theolonious Monk, who often sought her advice on how to write or play their own music.’
    • ‘Francis is a contributing editor for The Atlantic Monthly, which features a lot of jazz, and author of several books on the music and musicians from what many people think of as the golden age of jazz - bebop.’
    • ‘A particular touchstone of this counterculture was jazz, particularly bebop, and its association with African American culture.’
    • ‘It was the birthplace of the style of jazz known as bebop, and home to The Cotton Club, and the Savoy, where the likes of Billie Holiday and Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker held sway.’


1940s (originally US): imitative of the typical rhythm of this music.