Term for imitating another melody in a solo

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by bizzaro, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Hey fellas, I am a slabber but have a question I am sure most of you can answer forthwith. What is the term/jargon used when a musician takes a solo and uses melodies from other songs in an obvious manner? I know it has a name but cannot recall what it is.

    And I just wanted to come over and say Howdy!
  2. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    It's called a 'quote'. These generally garner the same reaction as a pun, with rare exception.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah we call it quoting over here as well and usually get the "cringe" as Ray mentions - like quoting "Run Rabbit Run" in a solo over the changes to Ellington's "CottonTail" ! ;)
  5. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    I disagree. When used RIGHT, quoting can be very cool. There weren't a lot of solos that Dexter didn't quote something to great effect in. Mingus did it also; I believe quoting Dixie over a tune to make a political statement (Fables of Faubus?), as well as quoting Grieg's "Hall of the Mountain King" in another. IMHO, a nicely placed quote, sometimes one that goes against the grain can be just as creative as anything else the soloist can do.

  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    As I said above.

    Some people can make a pun or joke humorous and some cain't.
  7. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Good point. I missed that.

  8. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    I really wasn't questioning its legitimacy, but was curious as to the term used imply it. Quote as it were. Whether it is in good taste would depend on who, when, where and how in my estimation. Thanks to all.
  9. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    It's totally ok to quote other musicians. Classical composers did it all the time. Elgar loved to quote Mendelssohn.

    Stravinsky once said "good composers borrow, great composers steal"

    in fact his melody in movment 7 (vivo) in the pulcinella suite is stolen from a small time composer that was friends with stravinsky
  10. Singular Angler:
    We're not quite talking about the same thing. The thread is about quoting other tunes when improvising. As Ed points out, intent is what matters. If a guy just suddenly hears it and puts it out there, it's one thing. But studiously preparing which quotes you'll have ready to use for a particular tune is contrived, transparent, and will cost you respect.

    Classical composers borrowing one another's ideas in some instances is taken to mean respect. Also, what matters is what is done with the idea. I can prove to you that Mozart, not Beethoven, wrote the Ode to Joy theme. What cannot be denied is the tour de force that Beethoven made out of it. Borrowing the idea does not diminish the man at all.
    Injudicious quoting in jazz can, though.
  11. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    How do you all feel about quoting a passage for humorous effect. We all know some passages that make us smile.
  12. Sure, why not?

    True story: I was having a lesson with Michael Moore in December. He would play piano while I played his bass. Moore students know that the first tune you learn in thumb position is Out Of Nowhere. In the middle of my solo, I have no idea why it happened but I realized I had just played Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I was embarassed as hell, but it was honest, and he (we) just laughed our a$$es off. If I thought about it in advance, I should have been shot dead.