(Excerpted from chapter 9)

Bop Contrasted with Swing

Bop differed from swing in a number of performance aspects:

  1. Preferred instrumentation for bop was the small combo instead of big band.
  2. Less emphasis was placed on arrangements in bop.
  3. Average tempo was faster in bop.
  4. Clarinet was rare in bop.
  5. Display of instrumental virtuosity was a higher priority for bop players.
  6. Rhythm guitar was rare.

Bop differed from swing in a number of stylistic respects:

1. Bop improvisation was more complex because it contained
a) more themes per solo,
b) less similarity among themes,
c) more excursions outside the tune’s original key, and
d) a greater scope of rhythmic development.
2. Melodies were more complex in bop.
3. Harmonies were more complex in bop.
4. Bop tunes and chord progressions projected a more unresolved quality.
5. Accompaniment rhythms were more varied in bop.
6. Comping was more prevalent than stride style and simple, on-the-beat chording.
7. Drummers played their timekeeping rhythms primarily on suspended cymbal, rather than snare drum, high-hat, or bass drum.
8. Surprise was more highly valued in bop.
9. Bop was a more agitated style than swing was.

This is only an excerpt of the extensive coverage of bebop.