Definition and background:
A style of music originating in the 20th century in New Orleans which combined elements of European-American and African music. This style of music was developed largely in urban areas, starting in New Orleans, then moving to Chicago, then to New York. It is an improvisational, expressive style of music, characterized by syncopated rhythms, ' blue notes ' and the use of seventh and ninth chords. See also blues, ragtime, scat singing, and third stream. A popular music style influenced by the blues, popular song, and other musical genre. Jazz is characterized by highly sophisticated improvised melodic lines over chord progressions (changes) with a steady beat and considerable syncopation. a musical form originating in 20th century U.S.A. it features specialized rhythm patterns, a standard repertoire, and was formerly associated with popular dance music. Serious 20th century composers have since dipped into the jazz idiom
A popular music style influenced by the blues, popular song, and other musical genre. Jazz is characterized by highly sophisticated improvised melodic lines over chord progressions (changes) with a steady beat and considerable syncopation
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary