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Jazz standard

Jazz standard refers to a tune that is widely known among jazz musicians. As jazz is actually a range of musical styles, musicians and bands can vary in their "standards" according to what type of jazz they play. Most professional bands will have repertories with many more tunes than the "standards", but they will usually be sure to include some standards in an evening's performance, and have them ready to play in case of request.

Dixieland and Traditional jazz standards include:

Swing band standards include: "Bebop" standards include: "Mainstream" late 20th century jazz standards include the songs:

and instrumental compositions such as:

The categories of jazz are not exclusive as to their standards, and any of the songs may be played by bands that specialize in another style. For example, some avant garde groups may delight in playing an old tune in their modern style, or a Dixieland band may pride themselves on playing a modern tune in a style that gives it a traditional sound.

There is no definitive list of standards. Many 'standards', such as those above, were originally written decades ago, and may be from old popular tunes, Broadway or musical selections, or old recordings of famous bands. However, jazz musicians might also include a wide range of more recent tunes in their concept of 'standards'.

It is common for jazz musicians invited to take part in a 'standards gig' to ask the person who's booking the gig or the other musicians involved for particular tunes they have in mind. However, time spent working through a respectable 'fake book', such as The New Real Book, will help in such situations.

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