CMA Stories

6 Fun Facts About Bebop

Join us Sunday, January 28, for a cultural festival celebrating New York City. We will have workshops and performances inspired by New York artists and the city’s diverse neighborhoods.

Between 12 and 3 PM, the spirit of the legendary Savoy Ballroom will fill the museum with an interactive dance presentation by The Harlem Swing Dance Society. Their mission is to preserve Harlem’s history, and cultural identity and provide free drop in classes for the Harlem community.

Throughout the festival we will be animating our own Broadway Caricatures in the Clay Bar, exploring the sounds of Jazz in our Sound Booth, and creating unique Subway Mosaics in Fine Arts, along with so much more!

To get ready for the dance workshops, check out 6 fun facts about bebop, a style of music that came out of Harlem:

  1. The word “bebop” isn’t a word at all but the spelling of the musical sounds heard in its melodies.
  2. Bebop was developed in the 1940’s by African American musicians, and became a famous style among the jazz clubs along Harlem’s 52nd st.
  3. Jam sessions, the core of Bebop, are when musicians gather and play informally through improvisation, responding to each other’s sound.
  4. A typical Bebop combo is comprised of two horns (e.g., trumpet and saxophone) and rhythm section (piano, bass, and drums), but can range in size from a trio (e.g., piano, bass, and drums) to a septet (e.g., three horns, guitar, and rhythm section – piano, bass, and drums).
  5. Scat singing, or scatting, is a type of singing that follows Bebop’s improvisational style while imitating its instrumental sounds with melodic vocals. Ella Fitzgerald is one of the most famous scat singers.
  6. While the most famous place for Bebop was at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem, take a moment and make some improvised music with your friends or family right now!

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