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be-bop (bop) Form of jazz with subtle harmonies and shifting rhythms. It arose in the late 1940s as a development from the simpler swing style. Complex and dynamic, involving the extensive use of improvisation, the movement was pioneered by musicians such as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.

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be-bop. Jazz development of the 1940s, primarily for small groups of instrumentalists, such as a rhythm section of 4 or 5 players with some solo instr. Scat singing was a feature. Be-bop used highly complex chord sequences often at very fast tempi. Specially assoc. with the alto saxphonist Charlie Parker. It had a marked effect on the jazz techniques of drumming and pf.-playing.