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IB Musical Investigation Web Site
The Origins


The Origins
The Purpose
Musical Structure and Style
References and other Links


Bebop appeared suddenly and unexpectedly in the decade between 1940 and 1950. Its origins are vague and highly disputed, but it seems to have come about as a result of the move away from Big Band swing because of the Second World War and the economic atmosphere of the time. The high expenses of big bands ushered in the jazz combo era where small groups played club settings.

Bebop is generally said to have been founded by two key figures: the saxophonist Charlie Parker and the trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie. It is a musical style that was a radical evolution in jazz inspired by the immense innovation of these two players and many others. The movement exploded when these pioneers exchanged their ideas while playing the clubs of New York.


While Bebop is a uniquely American musical style, Opera claims its origins from Europe. A vast and extensive genre, Opera spans all the way from the Classic Greek era to modern day, though it flourished in its known form in seventeenth century Italy and spread throughout Europe shortly after. Opera took place when new harmonic structures were created instead of the complexities of polyphony and counterpoint that had existed beforehand. The opera became one of the most significant achievements of the Baroque period.

Opera took root in many other European countries forming strong foundations in France Germany, and Russia. The American Opera, though relatively new, has become its own distinct genre and in some instances has combined with America's classical music Jazz, creating an exciting new entity.