Archive for 30 December 2007

Sony announced a new LCD Touchscreen supporting Multi-Touch

With the success of the Apple iPhone, it seems no electronics company can bring out new portable devices without a touch screen interface. The new touch screens have to support of course multi-touch.

The new Sony LCD Touchscreen uses a low-temperature polysilicon thin film transistor TFT process technology based on optical sensor arrays.

The current prototype display is 3.5 inch in size and has a resolution of 640 x RGB x 480 pixels. The optical touch sensor array supports up to 5 points. Finger and stylus input is supported.

More info : Sony Press Release (Japanese language).

An optical sensor system in stylus input to achieve touchscreen feature integrated mobile low-temperature polysilicon LCDs for development

Sony Corporation (Sony) is a function of the touch panel LCD panel built low-temperature polysilicon liquid crystal display has been developed. This display is a low-temperature polysilicon thin film transistor TFT process technology based on optical sensor array can be formed simultaneously, external touch is needed, and multiple finger or stylus-operated by the characters and can enter the picture NARIMASHI hoop.

Sony, LCD driver circuit and power supply circuit and display glass substrate formed on a “SHISUTEMUONGURASU” such as low-temperature polysilicon TFT characteristics of a good account technology to actively develop the mobile liquid crystal display products to go ‘m here. The further evolution of this technology and optical sensor and readout circuit formed on a glass substrate in the operation of the excellent features integrated LCD touch panel system.

In recent years, the touch panel is mobile phones, music players, game machines, video cameras and other mobile products in an intuitive user interface as the operation is possible, with the progress. The conventional type of resistance and capacitance of the LCD touch panel on the paste must be the set design and increased thickness decreased degree of freedom, and quality deterioration (resistance) and other issues.

Sony has developed this feature integrated touch panel display for the low-temperature polysilicon thin-film transistor liquid crystal cell technology for use in an optical sensor to form for the traditional touch of the flat-screen set of challenges, the quality and degree of design freedom to improve possible. In addition, the design optimization of optical sensors and signal processing technology to develop the same time, and a light sensor, the signal S/N to improve success. As a result, the outside light and the display image to minimize the impact, and the fingers and by the stylus to achieve stable operation.

Sony is the technology of the new user interface features SHITA low-temperature polysilicon LCDs for product development and market demand widely supported within the mobile liquid crystal display business further expanding there shortly.

Development of a Major Feature Article

Stylus can enter light pen, a special pen is not a simple stylus by handwritten letters and pictures can be entered in the usual pens and pencils as well as a natural taste has been written (see photo).

Fingers point of contact for multiple input and soft touch input to achieve light outside influence and the display image to minimize the impact on the LCD panel on multi-point push button and the image scaling, and rotating stable finger input operation to achieve. The detection method using light sensors, touch display much input.

An optical sensor system adopted by the high quality of slimline design degree of freedom to improve optimization of optical design of the touch panel features is not the same product to achieve contrast and color reproduction. Also, the touch panel for the light sensor in the liquid crystal cell formation in the liquid crystal display flat-screen and acrylic plate and liquid crystal displays can be placed on the degree of design freedom.

Products developed in the main specification
Item Work like
Screen size: 3.5-inch
Display pixels (H × V): 640 x RGB x 480 pixels
Pixel array: Stripe
Color depth: Color 16.77 million color transmission
Touch Panel Function: Finger-type 5-point to possible stylus input is possible

Dari unwiredview diperoleh informasi bahwa Sony Ericsson telah mendaftarkan patent Two-Way Sliding Mobile Terminal untuk design mobile terminal (handphone) dengan nama .

Dari dokumen paten tersebut bentuk two-way slider mobile terminal adalah seperti gambar di bawah ini :

Dan juga seperti gambar berikut ini :

Setelah diberi sentuhan keahlian photoshop oleh sealover di esato, maka bentuk handphone yang menggunakan design tersebut kemungkinan akan seperti gambar di bawah ini :

Seandainya Sony Ericsson akan menerapkan patent tersebut sesegera mungkin, mudah-mudahan design P5i (Bella) akan mendekati gambar di atas.

Kita tunggu kabar selanjutnya.

Dokumen Patent dapat di-download di sini.

Sumber : unwiredview.

Sony Ericsson Invents Drag and Drop Bluetooth

Posted November 19th, 2007 by Nick in Mobile Phone News

A new patent application published last week shows an innovative method of transferring files between mobile phones. The Portable device with short range communication function patent discusses a mobile phone with a “simplified procedure” for sending and receiving data using a drag and drop interface.

At present sending a photo or music file isn’t particularly straightforward in most handsets. A user has to select an item from the menu, select the “send item” option, select the communication method or channel, and possibly activate a the communication function such as Bluetooth. In the Sony Ericsson invention a drag and drop touch screen utility allows a user to simply drag an item off the side of their screen in the direction of the phone they want to transfer the file to. The action of dragging the item initiates an automatic data transfer procedure using short range communication.

Basically, the user of a touch screen phone can simply use a finger/pen to touch and drag an item to be shared in the direction of the other phone. When he reaches the edge of the screen, a question will pop-up: “Send to yyy phone?” In case of NFC and short range radio, it does not matter in which direction the other user’s phone is as long as the devices are within range for communication. The user will intuitively drag the item in the direction of the other user’s phone, but in reality it could work equally well to drag the item in any direction on the display.

Sumber : dialaphone

Produk-produk Sony Ericsson yang sudah diumumkan di tahun 2007 tapi baru akan dirilis ke pasar tahun 2008 :

K630 – Jie
K630 Press Release
K630 Product Page

K660 – Alona (atau Chen?)
K660 Press Release
K660 Product Page

V640 – Jie_Vodafone
V640 Press Release
V640 Product Page

W380 – Lena
W380 Press Release
W380 Product Page

W890 – Akiko
W890 Press Release
W890 Product Page

Z750 – Daniela (atau Nathalie?)
Z750 Press Release
Z750 Product Page

Portable Bluetooth™ Speaker MBS-100
Portable Bluetooth™ Speaker MBS-100 Press Release
Portable Bluetooth™ Speaker MBS-100 Product Page

Bluetooth™ Car Speakerphone HCB-105
Bluetooth™ Car Speakerphone HCB-105 Press Release
Bluetooth™ Car Speakerphone HCB-105 Product Page

MD300 USB Mobile Broadband Modem
MD300 USB Mobile Broadband Modem Press Release
MD300 USB Mobile Broadband Modem Product Page

Sony Ericsson Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-PV703
Sony Ericsson Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-PV703 Press Release
Sony Ericsson Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-PV703 Product Page

Produk-produk Sony Ericsson yang masih berupa RUMOR :

Walkman Phones

1. W770 :
Slim Walkman Phone. Versi Walkman dari K770. 2.2″ QVGA, non-AF kamera, terbuat dari plastik, mirip W580 dalam bentuk candybar.

2. W750 :
Versi Walkman dari Irina (tentang Irina lihat di bagian Generic Phones). High-end flip phone. Spesifikasinya bakal mirip sama SO903i (hape khusus Jepang). Mungkin menggunakan OS Symbian UIQ. Bentuknya stylish, tersedia dalam warna silver dan hijau. Punya special music dial, batere dengan kekuatan yang lebih tahan lama, dan stereo speakers.

3. True W950 Successor :
Penerus dari W950 (tapi bukan W960).

4. Maria (W980) :
High-end candybar, diposisikan sebagai rival langsung buat iPhone. Design : menggunakan d-pad, 6 buah tombol di bagian depan, dan tanpa keypad karena seluruh fungsi akan dioperasikan melalui touchscreen. Spesifikasinya kemungkinan sama atau lebih tinggi daripada Mooi (W960). Built-in GPS. Jadwal rilis pada minggu ke-9 tahun 2008.

5. W350i :
Low-end atau mid-low Walkman clamshell dengan design mirip Nokia 7500 Prism.

6. Alona
Walkman Phone.

7. Deena
Walkman Phone.

8. Madonna
Walkman Phone.

Cyber-shot Phones

1. Cyber-shot Slider :
Belum ada info lengkap, tapi kemungkinan adalah K800 dalam bentuk slider.

2. Cyber-shot Clamshell :
Handphone berbentuk clamshell dengan 5 megapixel camera, berwarna hitam. Successor dari Z800.

3. K860 :
High-end candybar. Re-designe dari K850 dengan sliding lens cover, ditambah dengan fitur DVB-H (Mobile TV) dan GPS.

4. Optical Zoom Cyber-shot :
Handphone Cyber-shot dengan optical zoom, akan dirilis pada Q2 2008.

5. K850 Successor :
High-end candybar. Akan diposisikan sebagai flagship dari seri Cyber-shot di tahun 2008.

6. Symbian Cyber-shot :
Handphone Cyber-shot yang menggunakan OS Symbian UIQ.

7. Lai
Cyber-shot Phone.

8. Shio
Cyber-shot Phone.


1. Bella (P5i) :

Successor dari P990 dalam bentuk slider, lebih tipis dan lebih ringan dari P990 (beratnya kurang lebih 125 gram). Layarnya 2.8″ dengan resolusi VGA. Fitur lainnya: Built-in GPS, WiFi 802.11b/g, OS Symbian versi 9.3 atau 9.5 dengan UIQ versi 3.2 atau 4.0, internal memory 160 MB, WAP 2.0, C++ support, 5 Megapixel Camera (dengan AF dan Flash), HSDPA/HSUPA, RAM 128 MB. Akan menggunakan processor dari TI dengan clock speed sekitar 520 MHz dan GPS Module.

2. Windows Mobiles Phone :
Smartphone dengan memakai Windows Mobile sebagai OS-nya. Akan dirilis mulai pertengahan tahun 2008.

3. Maria :
Sudah dibahas di bagian Walkman Phones.

Emotional Design phones

1. Premium Slider :
Kompetitor buat seri 8xxx dari Nokia. Akan dirilis di Q2 2008.

Mobile TV Phones :

1. DVB-H Phone :
Handphone dengan kemampuan DVB-H.

Generic Phones

1. Becky (Z660) :


Ultra-slim clamshell (tebal sekitar 14 mm), Camera 2.0 megapixel, 3G/HSDPA, JP-8, A200 UI.

2. Z555 :
Merupakan versi non-Walkman dari W380, dan successor dari of Z530. Layar 176×220 pixel 262.144 Color TFT. Fitur yang dimiliki antara lain : Camera 1.3 megapixel dengan 4x digital zoom, Gesture control, dan Changing themes

3. Lena :
Akan dirilis pada minggu ke-8 tahun 2008.

4. Veronica :
Belum ada info lebih lanjut.

4. Lin :
Belum ada info lebih lanjut.

5. Erika :
Belum ada info lebih lanjut.

6. Emma :
Belum ada info lebih lanjut.

7. Serena :
Belum ada info lebih lanjut.

8. Filipa :
Belum ada info lebih lanjut.

9. Irina :
Handphone clamshell dengan design yang memiliki perpaduan warna antara hitam dan putih, dengan layar yang lebar.

10. VGA Screen Phone :
Handphone dengan layar beresolusi VGA.

Gaming Phones

1. Gaming Mobile :
Handphone yang berorientasi pada gaming dengan dedicated graphics chip, dedicated gaming buttons dan motion sensors. Akan diumumkan pada tanggal 11 February 2008.

Japanese Phones

1. W62S
Cyber-shot handset dengan kamera 5.0 megapixel

2. W61S
Walkman phone dengan lighting effects, CDMA EVDO Rev. A plus GSM dengan layar WVGA


1. Rotating Desk Stand
Sebuah rotating desk stand yang ditujukan untuk mengakomodasi fitur accelerometer pada handphone, misalnya menikmati tontonan video secara horisontal.

2. Upgrade dari MMV-200
Versi baru yang lebih powerful dari MMV-200.

3. GPS Handsfree
Handsfree GPS baru penerus HGE-100

4. GPS Bluetooth Watch
Jam tangan bluetooth penerus MBW-100 dan MBW-150 yang dilengkapi dengan fitur GPS.

5. MBS-100 Variant
Varian dari MBS-100

6. Successor dari MDS-70 :
Successor dari MBS-70 akan dilengkapi dengan 6.5″ Subwoofer dan 2 built-in loudspeaker.

Setelah tahu apa saja kiprah apa saja yang sudah dilakukan oleh Sony Ericsson sepanjang tahun 2007 ini (Sony Ericsson Portfolio for 2007), sekarang akan saya telusuri apa saja rencana Sony Ericsson untuk tahun 2008 dan tahun-tahun mendatang.

Kelihatannya akan ada beberapa perubahan dan penambahan yang cukup menjanjikan. Paling tidak ada 2 hal yang menggambarkan perubahan “besar” tersebut :

  1. Konsep “Gaming Phone” yang sudah dipatenkan sejak beberapa tahun lalu kemungkinan akan jadi kenyataan
  2. Smartphone dengan OS Windows Mobile! Aneh? Mungkin, karena selama ini smartphone SE sudah sangat identik dengan Symbian UIQ. Tapi, why not? Sah-sah aja sih kalau SE memang berencana untuk memperluas portfolio produk2nya dalam rangka meningkatkan atau paling tidak mempertahankan market share dan profit yang sejauh ini hasilnya sangat menggembirakan.

Sebagai “pembukaan”, berikut tinjauan mengenai apa saja rencana SE untuk tahun 2008 nanti :

  1. Design handphone seperti T650 (portfolio tahun 2007 dan sudah dirilis) adalah contoh awal dari apa yang dinamakan sebagai “designer series”. Di tahun 2008 nanti akan ada beberapa handphone lagi dalam kategori ini.
  2. Handphone dalam jajaran “premium” dan “semi-premium” series akan mulai diproduksi dan dipasarkan.
  3. Akan ada handphone yang ditujukan untuk berkompetisi dengan Nokia 8xxx series (type handphone premium dari Nokia, kompetitor utama SE).
  4. Platform A200 (platform default untuk non-smartphone) yang sudah diaplikasikan pada K850, W910, W890 atau K660, akan terus diaplikasikan untuk handphone2 pada level mid sampai high-end. Platform A200 ini akan memiliki fitur2 tambahan seperti :
    • Support untuk transaksi elektronik, mobile banking, dll.
    • Mobile-commerce
    • GPS support dan program2 yang berkaitan dengan GPS
    • Support untuk VoIP
    • 3D Graphics
    • Content Handler API
    • Scalable 2D Vector Graphics API for Java ME
    • Mobile Internationalization API
    • Support untuk Open GL
    • Support untuk motion sensors (accelerometers) : artinya integrasi antara accelerometers dan games (dan aplikasi Java lainnya)
  5. Intergrated Graphics Chips akan dimulai bersamaan dengan rilisnya “gaming orientated mobiles”.
  6. Support untuk Memory Card M2 dan MicroSD (yang sudah diterapkan pada K850) akan diteruskan untuk handphone type lain.
  7. Belum akan ada Inbuilt-GPS, tapi aplikasi GPS masih akan berupa “intergrated in the handsfree kits” di mana aplikasi GPS akan di-bundle dalam paket pembeliannya.
  8. Handphone dalam kategori low dan mid-range masih akan menggunakan platform A100 (platform non-smartphone yang selama ini diterapkan oleh SE seperti pada K770, W880, dll.)
  9. Beberapa handphone yang “music oriented” (artinya seri Walkman) akan menggunakan jack headphone 3.5 mm langsung di body handphone-nya sendiri.
  10. Penggunaan socket MicroUSB untuk port charger akan mulai diterapkan.
  11. Touch Sensitive Softkeys seperti yang ada pada K850 akan terus digunakan pada beberapa type handphone mendatang dan juga akan diterapkan pada kelas mid dan high-range.
  12. Layar beresolusi QVGA akan menjadi standard minimum untuk handphone kelas mid-range ke atas.
  13. Layar beresolusi VGA akan mulai diterapkan pada handphone2 high-end.
  14. PlayNow 5.0 sudah diperkenalkan pada 15 November 2007, tapi penerapannya baru akan dimulai pada handphone2 yang akan dirilis mulai tahun 2008.
  15. Handphone2 khusus Jepang akan mulai menerapkan layar beresolusi wide-VGA dan UI baru.
  16. Akan ada seri Cyber-shot dengan optical zoom.
  17. Konsep “Gaming Phone” (Playstation Phone) akan segera diwujudkan.
  18. SE bekerja sama dengan HTC akan merilis smartphone dengan OS Windows Mobile.

Coming soon : Sony Ericsson Portfolio for 2008 : Upcoming Products…

Sepanjang tahun 2007, Sony Ericsson telah merilis tidak kurang dari 35 type handphone dan beberapa accessories.

Berikut adalah handphone2 dan accessories yang sudah dirilis oleh Sony Ericsson sampai dengan akhir tahun 2007.

Walkman Phones

W200i/W200a/W200c (Melinda)
W200i/W200a/W200c Press Release
W200i/W200a/W200c Product Page

W580i/W580c (Laura)
W580i/W580c Press Release
W580i/W580c Product Page

W610i/W610c (Na)
W610i/W610c Press Release
W610i/W610c Product Page

W660i (Faye)
W660i Press Release
W660i Product Page


W880i/W888c (Ai)
W880i/W888c Press Release
W880i/W888c Product Page

W910i/W908c (Shinobu/Erika)
W910i/W908c Press Release
W910i/W908c Product Page

W960i (Mooi)
W910i Press Release
W910i Product Page

Cyber-shot Phones

K550i/K550c (Li)
K550i/K550c Press Release
K550i/K550c Product Page

K770i (Victoria)
K770i Press Release
K770i Product Page

K810i/K818c (Samantha)
K810i/K818c Press Release
K810i/K818c Product Page

K850i/K858c (Sofia)
K850i/K858c Press Release
K850i/K858c Product Page

Talk & Text and Generic Phones

J110i/J110a/J110c (Kim)
J110i/J110a/J110c Press Release
J110i/J110a/J110c Product Page

J120i/J120c (Melody)
J120i/J120c Press Release
J120i/J120c Product Page

K200i/K200a/K200c (Gisela)
K200i/K200a/K200c Press Release
K200i/K200a/K200c Product Page

K205a (Gisela)

K220i/K220c (Gisela)
K220i/K220c Press Release
K220i/K220c Product Page

Life Style/Fashion Phones

S500i/S500c (Lindsay)
S500i/S500c Press Release
S500i/S500c Product Page

T250i/T250a/T258c (Olga)
T250i/T250a/T258c Press Release
T250i/T250a/T258c Product Page

T650i/T658c (Sania)
T650i/T658c Press Release
T650i/T658c Product Page

Z250i/Z250a/Z258c (Anabel)
Z250i/Z250a/Z258c Press Release
Z250i/Z250a/Z258c Product Page

Z310i/Z310a (Alva)
Z310i/Z310a Press Release
Z310i/Z310a Product Page

Z320i/Z320a/Z320c (Anastasia)
Z320i/Z320a/Z320c Press Release
Z320i/Z320a/Z320c Product Page

Business Phones

K530i (Nicole)
K530i Press Release
K530i Product Page

K550im (Riko)
K550im Press Release
K550im Product Page

V640i (Jie_Vodafone)
V640i Press Release
V640i Product Page

Z750i/Z750a (Nathalie)
Z750i/Z750a Press Release
Z750i/Z750a Product Page

UIQ Phones

P1i/P1c (Elena)
P1i/P1c Press Release
P1i/P1c Product Page

Japanese Phones





Portable Bluetooth™ Speaker MBS-100

Portable Bluetooth™ Speaker MBS-100 Press Release
Portable Bluetooth™ Speaker MBS-100 Product Page

Bluetooth™ Car Speakerphone HCB-105

Bluetooth™ Car Speakerphone HCB-105 Press Release
Bluetooth™ Car Speakerphone HCB-105 Product Page

Bluetooth™ Music Receiver MBR-100
Bluetooth™ Music Receiver MBR-100 Press Release
Bluetooth™ Music Receiver MBR-100 Product Page

PC300 Mobile Broadband PC Card
PC300 Mobile Broadband PC Card Press Release
PC300 Mobile Broadband PC Card Product Page

MD300 USB Mobile Broadband Modem
MD300 USB Mobile Broadband Modem Press Release
MD300 USB Mobile Broadband Modem Product Page

Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-PV702
Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-PV-702 Press Release
Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-PV-702 Product Page

Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-PV710
Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-PV-710 Press Release
Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-PV-710 Product Page

Stereo Portable Handsfree HPM-75
Stereo Portable Handsfree HPM-75 Press Release
Stereo Portable Handsfree HPM-75 Product Page

GPS Enabler HGE-100
GPS Enabler HGE-100 Press Release
GPS Enabler HGE-100 Product Page

Music Remote Control MRC-60
Music Remote Control MRC-60 Press Release
Music Remote Control MRC-60 Product Page

Snap-on Speakers MPS-75
Snap-on Speakers MPS-75 Press Release
Snap-on Speakers MPS-75 Product Page

Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-PV705 Style Edition
Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-PV-705 Style Edition Press Release
Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-PV-705 Style Edition Product Page

Camera Phone Kit IPK-100
Camera Phone Kit IPK-100 Press Release
Camera Phone Kit IPK-100 Product Page

Stereo Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-DS980
Stereo Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-DS980 Press Release
Stereo Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-DS980 Product Page

Bluetooth™ Watch MBW-150
Bluetooth™ Watch MBW-150 Press Release

Bluetooth™ Watch MBW-150 Executive Edition Product Page

Bluetooth™ Watch MBW-150 Music Edition Product Page

Bluetooth™ Watch MBW-150 Classic Edition Product Page

Stereo Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-DS200
Stereo Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-DS200 Press Release
Stereo Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-DS200 Product Page

Stereo Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-DS220
Stereo Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-DS220 Product Page

Stereo Portable Handsfree HPM-90
Stereo Portable Handsfree HPM-90 Press Release
Stereo Portable Handsfree HPM-90 Product Page

Stereo Portable Handsfree HPM-83
Stereo Portable Handsfree HPM-83 Press Release
Stereo Portable Handsfree HPM-83 Product Page

FM Music Transmitter MMR-70
FM Music Transmitter MMR-70 Press Release
FM Music Transmitter MMR-70 Product Page

Music Desk Stand MDS-65
Music Desk Stand MDS-65 Press Release
Music Desk Stand MDS-65 Product Page

Jazz Music

Posted: 30 December 2007 in Music
Tags: , , , ,


Jazz is a kind of music that has often been called the only art form to originate in the United States. The history of jazz began in the late 1800’s. The music grew from a combination of influences, including black American music, African rhythms, American band traditions and instruments, and European harmonies and forms. Much of the best jazz is still written and performed in the United States, but musicians from many other countries are making major contributions to jazz. Jazz was widely appreciated as an important art form in Europe before it gained such recognition in the United States.

One of the key elements of jazz is improvisation the ability to create new music spontaneously. This skill is the distinguishing characteristic of the genuine jazz musician. Improvisation raises the role of the soloist from just a performer and reproducer of others’ ideas to a composer as well, and it gives jazz a fresh excitement at each performance.

Another important element of jazz is syncopation. To syncopate their music, jazz musicians take patterns that are even and regular and break them up, make them uneven, and put accents in unexpected places.

The earliest jazz was performed by black Americans who had little or no training in Western music. These musicians drew on a strong musical culture from black life. As jazz grew in popularity, its sound was influenced by musicians with formal training and classical backgrounds. During its history, jazz has absorbed influences from the folk and classical music of Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world. The development of instruments with new and different characteristics has also influenced the sound of jazz.

The Sound of Jazz

Jazz may be performed by a single musician, by a small group of musicians called a combo, or by a big band of 10 or more pieces. A combo is divided into two sections: a solo front line of melody instruments and a back line of accompanying instruments called a rhythm section. The typical front line consists of one to five brass and reed instruments. The rhythm section usually consists of piano, bass, drums, and sometimes an acoustic or electric guitar. The front-line instruments perform most of the solos. These instruments may also play together as ensembles. A big band consists of reed, brass, and rhythm sections.

The rhythm section in a combo or big band maintains the steady beat and decorates the rhythm with syncopated patterns. It also provides the formal structure to support solo improvisations. The drums keep the beat steady and add interesting rhythm patterns and syncopation. The piano or sometimes a guitar plays the chords or harmonies of the composition. The bass outlines the harmonies by sounding the bottom notes of the chords, on the strong beats of each bar. Any of the rhythm instruments, especially the piano, may also play solo during a performance.

The Brass

The principal brass instruments of jazz are the trumpet, the cornet, and the slide trombone, but the French horn, the valve trombone, the baritone horn, the flügelhorn, and even electronic trumpets have been used in jazz performances.

The cornet and trumpet are melody instruments of identical range, but the cornet is more mellow and the trumpet more brassy. Most jazz performers today use the trumpet. The slide trombone blends with the trumpet. The typical brass section of a big band consists of four or five trumpets and three trombones.

Jazz trumpeters and trombonists frequently use objects called mutes to alter or vary the sound of their instrument. The player plugs the mute into the bell (flared end) of the instrument or holds it close to the bell.

The Reeds

The clarinet and saxophone are the principal reed instruments of jazz. The flute, though technically a woodwind, is often classified as a reed in jazz. It is used especially as a solo instrument.

Both the clarinet and saxophone families range from soprano to bass. Only the soprano clarinet has been universally used in jazz. In early jazz, it was an equal member of the front line with the trumpet or cornet and the trombone. The clarinet eventually gave way to the saxophone, which is capable of much greater volume. Four members of the saxophone family the soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones are regularly employed in jazz. A typical reed section in a big band is made up of one or two alto saxophones, two tenors, and a baritone. Musicians often “double” by playing two or more reed instruments, such as an alto saxophone and a tenor saxophone, during a performance.


Drums were familiar to black Americans dating back to the days of slavery. These early percussion instruments played a vital role in the development of jazz.

As jazz grew, the drum set evolved until one drummer could play more than one percussion instrument at the same time. The invention of a foot-operated bass-drum pedal and pedal-operated cymbals freed the drummer’s hands to play other percussion instruments, such as snare drums, tom-toms, cowbells, and wood blocks. Another important invention was a wire brush, used in place of a drumstick or mallet to produce a more delicate sound on drums and cymbals. Today, a jazz drummer may use electronic percussion instruments that create an almost infinite variety of sounds and reproduce them accurately at virtually any volume.

The Piano

Since the earliest days of jazz, the piano has served both as a solo instrument and as an ensemble instrument that performs as part of the rhythm section. Today, other keyboard instruments, including electronic organs, electric pianos, and synthesizers controlled by a keyboard, may substitute for pianos.

The Guitar

The guitar, like the piano, is capable of playing both chords and melodies. In the early days of jazz, these two instruments, along with the banjo, were often substituted for one another. Later, however, the guitar and banjo were most often used in the rhythm section in addition to the piano. The banjo eventually disappeared from almost all later forms of jazz. Jazz musicians have used the acoustic guitar in ensembles and as a solo instrument since jazz’s earliest days. The electric guitar emerged in jazz in the late 1930’s to add sustained notes, greater volume, and new sounds and effects to jazz.

The Bass

The bass plays the roots of the harmonies. The musician normally plucks a double bass. The rhythm section may substitute a brass bass, such as a tuba or Sousaphone. When an electronic organ is used, the organist can play the bass part with foot pedals on the instrument. Electric bass guitars have been incorporated into some jazz ensembles, primarily those that play a “fusion” of jazz and rock music.

Other Instruments

Nearly every Western musical instrument and many non-Western instruments have been used in jazz at one time or another. The vibraphone, an instrument similar to the xylophone, and the violin deserve special mention. The vibraphone has been especially popular in combos. The violin has had only a few notable soloists in jazz, possibly because its volume could not match the power of trumpet or trombone in ensemble, but, throughout jazz history there have been some violinists who have skillfully adapted this basically classical music instrument to jazz. Modern amplification and sound manipulation devices have given the violin new and exciting possibilities as a jazz instrument.

The History of Jazz

The Roots of Jazz

The folk songs and plantation dance music of black Americans contributed much to early jazz. These forms of music occurred throughout the Southern United States during the late 1800’s.

Ragtime, a musical style that influenced early jazz, emerged from the St. Louis, Missouri, area in the late 1890’s. It quickly became the most popular music style in the United States. Ragtime was an energetic and syncopated variety of music, primarily for the piano, that emphasized formal composition.

The blues is a form of music that has always been an important part of jazz. The blues was especially widespread in the American South. Its mournful scale and simple repeated harmonies helped shape the character of jazz. Jazz instrumentalists have long exploited the blues as a vehicle for improvisation.

Early Jazz

Fully developed jazz music probably originated in New Orleans at the beginning of the 1900’s. New Orleans style jazz emerged from the city’s own musical traditions of band music for black funeral processions and street parades. Today, this type of jazz is sometimes called classic jazz, traditional jazz, or Dixieland jazz. New Orleans was the musical home of the first notable players and composers of jazz, including cornetists Buddy Bolden and King Oliver, cornetist and trumpeter Louis Armstrong, saxophonist and clarinetist Sidney Bechet, and pianist Jelly Roll Morton.

Jazz soon spread from New Orleans to other parts of the country. Fate Marable led a New Orleans band that played on riverboats traveling up and down the Mississippi River. King Oliver migrated to Chicago, and Jelly Roll Morton performed throughout the United States. Five white musicians formed a band in New Orleans, played in Chicago, and traveled to New York City, calling themselves the Original Dixieland Jass Band (the spelling was soon changed to “Jazz”). This group made the earliest jazz gramophone recordings in 1917. Mamie Smith recorded “Crazy Blues” in 1920, and recordings of ragtime, blues, and jazz of various kinds soon popularized the music to a large and eager public.

The 1920’s

The 1920’s have been called the golden age of jazz or the jazz age. Commercial radio stations, which first appeared in the 1920’s, featured live performances by the growing number of jazz musicians. New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit, and New York City were all important centers of jazz.

A group of Midwest youths, many from Chicago’s Austin High School, developed a type of improvisation and arrangement that became known as “Chicago style” jazz. These musicians included trumpeters Jimmy McPartland and Muggsy Spanier; cornetist Bix Beiderbecke; clarinetists Frank Teschemacher, Pee Wee Russell, Mezz Mezzrow, and Benny Goodman; saxophonists Frankie Trumbauer and Bud Freeman; drummers Dave Tough, George Wettling, and Gene Krupa; and guitarist Eddie Condon. They played harmonically inventive music, and the technical ability of some of the players, especially Goodman, was at a higher level than that of many earlier performers.

In New York City, James P. Johnson popularized a new musical style from ragtime called stride piano. In stride piano, the left hand plays alternating single notes and chords that move up and down the scale while the right hand plays solo melodies, accompanying rhythms, and interesting chordal passages. Johnson strongly influenced other jazz pianists, notably Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, Fats Waller, and Teddy Wilson.

Fletcher Henderson was the first major figure in big band jazz. In 1923, he became the first leader to organize a jazz band into sections of brass, reed, and rhythm instruments. His arranger, Don Redman, was the first to master the technique of scoring music for big bands. Various Henderson’s bands of the 1920’s and 1930’s included such great jazz instrumentalists as Louis Armstrong and saxophonists Benny Carter and Coleman Hawkins.

Armstrong made some of his most famous recordings with his own Hot Five and Hot Seven combos from 1925 to 1928. These recordings rank among the masterpieces of jazz, along with his duo recordings of the same period with pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines. Armstrong also became the first well-known male jazz singer, and popularized scat singing ¾ that is, wordless syllables sung in an instrumental manner.

During the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, jazz advanced from relatively simple music played by performers who often could not read music to a more complex and sophisticated form. Among the musicians who brought about this change were saxophonists Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, and Johnny Hodges; the team of violinist Joe Venuti and guitarist Eddie Lang; and pianist Art Tatum. Many people consider Tatum the most inspired and technically gifted improviser in jazz history.

The Swing Era

The swing era flourished from the mid-1930’s to the mid-1940’s. In 1932, Duke Ellington recorded his composition “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.” “Swing“ was soon adopted as the name of the newest style of jazz. Swing emphasizes four beats to the bar. Big bands dominated the swing era, especially those of Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington.

Benny Goodman became known as the “King of Swing.” Starting in 1934, Goodman’s bands and combos brought swing to nationwide audiences through ballroom performances, recordings, and radio broadcasts. Goodman was the first white bandleader to feature black and white musicians playing together in public performances. In 1936, he introduced two great black soloists pianist Teddy Wilson and vibraphonist Lionel Hampton. Until then, racial segregation had held back the progress of jazz and of black Americans in particular. In 1938, Goodman and his band, and several guest musicians, performed a famous concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Their performance was one of the first by jazz musicians in a concert hall setting.

Other major bands of the swing era included those led by Benny Carter, Bob Crosby, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Earl Hines, Andy Kirk, Jimmie Lunceford, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Chick Webb, and, toward the end of the period, Stan Kenton. The bands in Kansas City, Missouri, especially the Count Basie band, had a distinctive swing style. These bands relied on the 12-bar blues form and riff backgrounds, which consisted of repeated simple melodies. They depended less heavily on written arrangements, allowing more leeway for rhythmic drive and for extended solo improvisations.

Boogie-woogie was another jazz form that became popular during the 1930’s. Chiefly a piano style, it used eight beats to the bar instead of four. Boogie-woogie featured the traditional blues pattern for most themes. The music had an intense quality that created excitement through the repetition of a single phrase. Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, Meade Lux Lewis, and Pinetop Smith were among its most important artists.

Jazz vocalists came into prominence during the swing era, many singing with big bands. Many fine jazz singers emphasized popular songs. These singers included Mildred Bailey, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nat “King” Cole, Carmen McRae, and Sarah Vaughan. Blues singing at its best can be heard in recordings by Jimmy Rushing, Jack Teagarden, Joe Turner, and Dinah Washington. In addition to singing, Nat “King” Cole was a superb jazz pianist and Jack Teagarden was a great jazz trombonist.


In the early 1940’s, a group of young musicians began experimenting with more complicated chord patterns and melodic ideas in a combo setting. The group included trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, pianists Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, and drummers Kenny Clarke and Max Roach. The style they developed was bebop or bop.

Most bop musicians had an exceptional technique. They played long, dazzling phrases with many notes, difficult intervals, unexpected breaks, and unusual turns in melodic direction. On slower tunes, they displayed a keen ear for subtle changes of harmony. Only extremely skilled musicians were able to play bebop well, and only sophisticated listeners at first appreciated it.

In bebop performances, musicians usually played an intricate melody, followed with long periods of solo improvisation, and restated the theme at the end. The bassist presented the basic beat for the group by plucking a steady, moving bass line. The drummer elaborated the beat with sticks or brushes on cymbals, snare drum, and tom-tom. The bass drum was reserved for unexpected accents called “bombs.” The pianist inserted complex chords at irregular intervals to suggest, rather than state, the complete harmonies of the piece.

Hard Bop

Bebop was followed in the 1950’s by hard bop, or funky, jazz. This form emphasized some of the traditional values of jazz derived from gospel and blues music, including rhythmic drive, uninhibited tone and volume, and freedom from restricting arrangements. The hard bop leaders were drummer Art Blakey and pianist Horace Silver. Blakey led a combo called the Jazz Messengers from the mid-1950’s until his death in 1990. The Jazz Messengers served as training ground for many of the greatest soloists in jazz history. Trumpeter Clifford Brown and drummer Max Roach were co-leaders of another outstanding hard bop combo.

Cool Jazz

Cool jazz originated in the works of such musicians as tenor saxophonist Lester Young, who starred with Count Basie, and guitarist Charlie Christian, who played with Benny Goodman. In the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, these musicians made changes in the sound and style of jazz improvisation. For example, they softened the tones of their instruments, used syncopation more subtly, and played with a more even beat.

In 1948, tenor saxophonist Stan Getz recorded a slow, romantic solo of Ralph Burns’s composition “Early Autumn” with the Woody Herman band. This work profoundly influenced many younger musicians. In 1949 and 1950, a group of young musicians that included trumpeter Miles Davis, alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, and arranger Gil Evans recorded several new compositions. These recordings emphasized a lagging beat, soft instrumental sounds, and unusual orchestrations that included the first successful use of the French horn and the tuba in modern jazz. The recordings, with Davis as leader, were later released as “The Birth of the Cool.”

During the 1950’s, many combos became identified with the cool movement. Some of the most successful combos were the Gerry Mulligan Quartet, the Modern Jazz Quartet, and the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

The Spread of Jazz

In the 1940’s and 1950’s, the sophisticated forms of bebop and cool jazz began to gain wide acceptance among intellectuals and college students. Jazz concerts became popular. Groups of jazz stars made a series of international tours called Jazz at the Philharmonic. The international growth of jazz resulted in many successful overseas tours by U.S. bands.

The introduction of the 33-1/3 rpm long-playing (LP) record, which was first produced commercially in 1948, also helped spread the popularity of jazz. For 30 years, jazz recordings had been limited to 78 rpm records that restricted performances to about 3 minutes in length. The LP allowed recorded performances to rum many minutes. The LP also permitted a number of shorter performances to be issued on a single record.

During the 1950’s, musicians in other countries began to improve greatly as jazz performers as they were exposed to performances by American musicians through recordings and concerts. Sweden, France, Germany, Japan, and other countries developed players and composers whose work compared favorably with that of the leading Americans. The first non-American jazz musicians to influence Americans were Belgian-born guitarist Django Reinhardt in the late 1930’s, and George Shearing, a blind, English-born pianist who went to live in the United States in 1947.

In 1954, the first large American jazz festival was held at Newport, Rhode Island. Since then, annual festivals also have been held in Monterey, California, U.S.A.; New York City; Chicago; Nice, France; Montreux, Switzerland; Warsaw, Poland; Berlin, Germany; and many other locations throughout the world. These festivals have featured almost all of the most popular jazz musicians and have introduced many extended concert works by Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, John Lewis, and others.

The U.S. government began to use jazz as an instrument of international goodwill in 1956. The U.S. Department of State sponsored tours of the Near and Middle East and Latin America by a big band led by Dizzy Gillespie. In 1962, Benny Goodman toured the Soviet Union as part of a cultural exchange program.

New Directions

Beginning in the 1950’s, jazz became even more experimental. Jazz music began to feature nontraditional instruments, such as French horn and bass flute. Jazz musicians began to take an interest in non-Western music, especially the modes (different arrangements of scales), melodic forms, and instruments of Africa, India, and the Far East.

In the late 1950’s, John Lewis, musical director of the Modern Jazz Quartet, worked with classical musician and composer Gunther Schuller to write and play orchestral works that combined elements of modern jazz and classical concert music. Stan Kenton also played this so-called third stream music when he toured the United States with a 40-piece orchestra.

Also during this period, pianist George Russell developed a jazz theory of modes. In 1959, the Miles Davis combo, with pianist Bill Evans and saxophonists John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, recorded compositions and improvised solos based on modes rather than on patterns of chords.

In 1960, saxophonist Ornette Coleman reshaped the thinking of younger jazz musicians when he recorded the album Free Jazz with a double quartet. In this recording, Coleman discarded harmony, melody, and regular rhythms. He substituted unstructured improvisation played atonally (in no definite key). Pianist Cecil Taylor and bassist Charles Mingus conducted similar atonal experiments.

In the 1960’s, the influence of the music of India entered jazz through the adaptations of John Coltrane. Jazz musicians also began to use more unusual meters, such as 5/4, 7/4 and 9/8.


In the 1970’s, many musicians blended jazz and rock music into fusion jazz. Fusion combined the melodic and improvisation aspects of jazz with the rhythms and instruments of rock. Electronic music played an important part in fusion. Jazz pianists began exploring the increased sound potential of synthesizers. Horn and string players began to use electronics to intensify, distort, or multiply their sounds. Many well-known jazz musicians gained new popularity by playing fusion. Some of the best-known fusion musicians were guitarist George Benson, trumpeters Donald Byrd and Miles Davis, pianist Herbie Hancock, and two combos, Weather Report and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

At the same time, many veteran jazz musicians retained their popularity by leading groups that played in the swing, bebop, and cool styles. These leaders included Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Gerry Mulligan, and Oscar Peterson.

The Late 1900’s

During the 1980’s, a number of young jazz musicians returned to mainstream jazz. Mainstream jazz includes elements of the swing, cool, and bebop styles. The most widely acclaimed young musician of the 1980’s was trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, a performer of both jazz and classical music. Marsalis plays with brilliant technique and tone. He and his brother, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, have led excellent hard bop combos.

Many young musicians continued to forge ahead with fusion groups. Two of the most widely respected fusion artists are the brothers trumpeter Randy Brecker and saxophonist Michael Brecker. In addition, Jane Ira Bloom displays a mastery of the soprano saxophone and the synthesizer.

In the 1980’s, some so-called New Wave musicians adopted minimalism, a style that often repeats simple patterns for long periods of time. Trombonist George Lewis has experimented with combinations of free jazz, synthesized sound, African rhythms, and unusual horn techniques. Another trombonist of dazzling technique is Ray Anderson. Bebop, rock, popular, free, and various mixtures are all blended in his recordings. One group, the World Saxophone Quartet, omitted the rhythm section while preserving most of the other traditional rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic elements of jazz.

Today, jazz continues to feature a variety of styles. Many musicians play in historic styles such as swing and bebop. Others seek a more experimental approach. For example, the Art Ensemble of Chicago blends free jazz, African costumes and makeup, exotic instruments, and surprise techniques into theatrical musical events. Ornette Coleman’s group, Prime Time, mixes free and fusion jazz in new and interesting ways.

Electronics technology is gaining a greater role in jazz music. Such young jazz composers as Michael Daugherty are demonstrating that live musicians can interact creatively with computer-generated sound.

By the early 1990’s, a new generation of young jazz musicians had emerged, inspired by the commercial and artistic success of Wynton Marsalis. Young musicians who have gained critical praise include saxophonists Scott Hamilton and Christopher Hollyday, pianist Marcus Roberts, trumpeters Philip Harper and Roy Hargrove, trombonist Dan Barrett, and guitarist Howard Alden.


Ragtime is a kind of music that uses strongly syncopated melody and a regular accented accompaniment. Originally a piano rag had a regular rhythmic bass for the left hand and a highly complex melody for the right hand. The term ragtime gradually came to be applied to early forms of jazz, such as Irving Berlin’s “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.”


Blues is a kind of music that developed in America from the various musical expressions of blacks who were taken to the country as slaves during the 1600’s. The earliest ancestors of the blues were work songs and field hollers, a musical form of communication among the slaves. The blues was a vocal music at first. Through the years, musicians began to accompany blues singers, and many blues compositions came to be performed chiefly by instrumentalists. The blues is an extremely flexible type of music, and various musicians have created highly individual styles of performing it. The blues contributed greatly to the development of jazz and popular music.

Traditional blues is played in a 12-bar form that is divided into three sections of four bars each. Most blues lyrics consist of several three-line stanzas. The second line of each stanza repeats the first, and the third line expresses response to the first two. Many blues lyrics reflect loneliness or sorrow, but others declare a humorous or defiant reaction to life’s troubles.

The blues started to become popular in the early 1800’s. During that period, a band leader named W.C. Handy began to adapt various traditional black folk tunes into songs that won wide popularity. Handy’s compositions include “Memphis Blues” (1912) and “St. Louis Blues” (1914). In the 1920’s, Bessie Smith emerged as the most powerful of the classic blues singers. Other well-known blues singers have included Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, and Ma Rainey. Instrumental blues, particularly the trumpet work of Louis Armstrong, also gained prominence. In the 1930’s, boogie-woogie, a style of piano blues, became popular.Almost all important jazz musicians have been skilled in performing the blues, including Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Jack Teagarden. Such musicians have been included variations of the standard blues pattern in their music. Some classical music and many compositions of rock music and folk music also reflect the influence of the blues.