What is a Jazz Standard?

What is a Jazz Standard?

A jazz standard is a musical theme that has acquired a certain notoriety in the jazz genre, which is known by many musicians and which has been the subject of numerous versions, interpretations and improvisations, and which is frequently used in jam sessions and performances.

There are standards from all eras of jazz, such as ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’, ‘I Got Rhythm’ or ‘How High the Moon’, ‘Take the ‘A’ Train’ to cite examples of the hot, swing and bop.

Many of the best-known standards were composed for films, or come from the so-called Great American Songbook, and have been incorporated into the genre, such as, for example, ‘Summertime’, by George Gershwin, while, for example, ”Round Midnight’, by Thelonious Monk, has been covered by, among others, Cootie Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Pepper, and Miles Davis.

Best Sheet Music download from our Library.

free sheet music download partitions gratuites Noten spartiti What is a Jazz Standard?

The most recorded standard composed by a jazz musician, and one of the most covered songs of all time, is Duke Ellington’s and Juan Tizol’s “Caravan” with over 500 uses.

Originally, the most recorded jazz standard was W. C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues” for over 20 years from the 1930s onward, after which Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust” replaced it. Following this, the place was held by “Body and Soul” by Johnny Green.

Please, subscribe to our Library. Thank you!

Before 1920

At the beginning of the 20th century, jazz was still considered dance music. The first Dixieland groups remained influenced by this image: King Oliver and his Creole Jazz Band, the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and many other groups included Tin Pan Alley in their repertoires, and record companies sometimes dictated the list of titles that must be recorded by their artists.

Certain imposed songs have thus become standards, such as Darktown Strutters’ Ball or (Back Home Again in) Indiana, recorded by the Original Dixieland Jass Band at Columbia Records in 1917.

Also, among the standards of this era are the songs After You’ve Gone (Turner Layton and Henry Creamer, 1918) and Some of These Days (Sophie Tucker, 1910).

The 1920s

The Jazz Age began in the United States in the 1920s. Jazz became popular there, even though the older generation considered this music immoral and endangering their cultural values.

The first artist who allowed himself to freely choose his titles was Louis Armstrong, who popularized many standards during the years 1920 to 19301. The popular tunes of the 1920s were songs like Sweet Georgia Brown, Dinah or Bye Bye Blackbird.

Some compositions from this era written by jazz musicians have become standards such as Honeysuckle Rose (1928) and Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1929) by Fats Waller. The song Stardust by Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parish is the most recorded jazz standard of the 1920s. Others are written by Broadway composers such as The Man I Love by George and Ira Gershwin (1924), Blue Skies by Irving Berlin (1927), or What Is This Thing Called Love? by Cole Porter (1927).

However, it was not until the 1930s that jazz musicians became comfortable with the complex melodies and sophisticated harmonic grids of Broadway tunes, and used them regularly in their repertoires.

The 1930s

Broadway contributed some of the most popular standards of the 1930s, including the famous Summertime from the comedy Porgy and Bess by George and Ira Gershwin (1935), My Funny Valentine by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart (1937), All the Things You Are by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II (1939), and Body and Soul by Johnny Green (1930). These standards are among the most recorded.

The 1930s saw swing establish itself in American music. Duke Ellington and his musicians composed many themes which would become jazz standards: It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) (1932), Sophisticated Lady (1933), Caravan (1936) among the most famous.

free sheet music download partitions gratuites Noten spartiti partituras jazz standard

The swing era (1935–1946) is that of the greatest big bands, such as those of Benny Goodman and Count Basie, who also participated in the repertoire of jazz standards.

The 1940s

New themes became popular, such as Cotton Tail by Duke Ellington (1940) or Take the ‘A’ Train by Billy Strayhorn (1941). The Second World War was a difficult time for big bands, and small groups developed.

The arrival of bebop brought out a new audience sensitive to sophisticated harmonies, fast tempos, and the virtuosity of the musicians. Their repertoires largely use the standards of the 1930s, but their compositions will also enter the list of standards: Salt Peanuts (1941) and A Night in Tunisia (1942) by Dizzy Gillespie, Anthropology (1946), Yardbird Suite (en) ( 1946), Scrapple from the Apple (1947) by Charlie Parker, or ‘Round Midnight (1944) by Thelonious Monk.

The 1950s and beyond

Some modal jazz recordings became popular in the late 1950s, such as the albums Kind of Blue by Miles Davis in 1959 with the compositions All Blues and So What, Impressions (en) by John Coltrane in 1963, or Maiden Voyage by Herbie Hancock in 1965.

In the mid-1960s, Miles Davis’ second major quintet with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock recorded a series of albums which contained standards such as Footprints (Wayne Shorter, 1966) and Freedom Jazz Dance (Eddie Harris, 1966).

At the end of the 1950s, bossa nova appeared in Brazil, a mixture of samba and jazz, made popular by João Gilberto, Antônio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfá. Gilberto and Stan Getz launched this trend in the United States in 1964 with the famous Getz/Gilberto album. Among the standards of the genre are compositions by Bonfá (Manhã de Carnaval, 1959), Marcos Valle (Summer Samba, 1966), and numerous songs by Jobim such as Desafinado (1959), The Girl from Ipanema (1962), Corcovado (1962).

In the mid-1970s, jazz fusion appeared, which was a mixture of jazz, funk and rock. Joe Zawinul with Weather Report, Chick Corea with Return to Forever, Herbie Hancock with The Headhunters, or John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra considerably broaden the jazz audience, and some of their successes have become standards: Spain (en) by Chick Corea (1971), Chameleon by Hancock (1973), and Birdland by Joe Zawinul (1977).

free scores Jazz standards

Jazz standards

Musical compositions that have become jazz standards.

Irving Berlin – Alexander’s Ragtime Band [1911]

“Alexander’s Ragtime Band” is a Tin Pan Alley song by American composer Irving Berlin released in 1911 and is often inaccurately cited as his first global hit. Although not a traditional ragtime song, Berlin’s jaunty melody nonetheless “sold a million copies of sheet music in 1911, then another million in 1912, and continued to sell for years afterward.

It was the number one song from October 1911 through January 1912.” The song might be regarded as a narrative sequel to “Alexander and His Clarinet”, which Berlin wrote with Ted Snyder in 1910. The earlier song is mostly concerned with a reconciliation between an African-American musician named Alexander Adams and his flame Eliza Johnson, but also highlights Alexander’s innovative musical style.

Berlin’s “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” was introduced to the American public by vaudeville comedienne Emma Carus, “one of the great stars of the period.” A popular singer in the 1907 Ziegfeld Follies and Broadway features, Carus was a famous contralto of the vaudeville era, renowned for her “low bass notes and high lung power.”

Carus’ brassy performance of the song at the American Music Hall in Chicago on April 18, 1911, proved to be well-received, and she toured other metropolises such as Detroit and New York City with acclaimed performances that featured the catchy song. The song as comically recorded by American singing duo Arthur Collins and Byron G. Harlan became the number one hit of 1911.

Nearly two decades later, jazz singer Bessie Smith recorded a 1927 cover, which became one of the hit songs of that year. The song’s popularity re-surged in the 1930s with the release of a 1934 close harmony cover by the Boswell Sisters, and a 1938 musical film of the same name starring Tyrone Power and Alice Faye. The song was covered by a variety of artists such as Al Jolson, Billy Murray, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, and others. Within fifty years of its release, the song had at least a dozen hit covers.

Etta James – Stormy Weather

From the album is At Last.

Search in our Library by author, or song name.
Total Records Found in the Library: 11697, showing 120 per page
Artist or Composer / Score nameCoverList of Contents
(500) Days Of Summer Piano Theme ( Mychael Danna, Rob Simonsen) (500) Days Of Summer Piano Theme ( Mychael Danna, Rob Simonsen)
100 Golden Standards The World’s Best Piano Arrangements by the greatest pianists of the Century sheet music The World’s Best Piano Arrangements
100 Greatest Film Scores (Book) by Matt Lawson & Laurence E. MacDonald sheet music download
100 greatest POP songs free sheet music & pdf scores download 100 greats pop songs
100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll, Selections From Piano Vocal Guitar Sheet Music free scores 100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll, Selections From Piano Vocal Guitar Sheet Music
100 Hits Simply The Best – Guitar (Die besten Songs aus Pop Rock) German free download sheet music & scores pdf 100 Hits Simply The Best (Die besten Songs aus Pop
100 Jazz & Blues Greats Book sheet music pdf 100 Jazz & Blues Greats
100 Jazz Solos & Etudes by Jacob Wise sheet music pdf 100 Jazz solos
100 Light Classics For Piano Solo free sheet music & scores pdf download 100 Light Classics For Piano Solo
100 Must-Know Jazz Tunes with MP3 audio tracks to Play Along sheet music 100 Must-Know Jazz Tune – C version
100 of the Best Movie Songs Ever! 100 Of the Best Movie Songs Eve Desconegut 100 best movie songs 1 & 100 best movie songs 2
100 Of The Best Songs Ever For The Keyboard by Daniel Scott 100 Of The Best Songs Ever For The Keyboard 100 Of The Best Songs Ever For The Keyboard
100 Piano Solos 100 Piano Solos 100 piano solos 1
100 Pop Hits Of The 90’s by Dan Coates free download sheet music & scores pdf 100 Pop Hits Of The 90’s by Dan Coates
100 Songs For Kids – Easy Guitar Lyrics with Tablature sheet music pdf 100 Songs For Kids – Easy Guitar Lyrics
100 Ultimate Blues Riffs For Piano Keyboards free sheet music & pdf scores download 100 ultimate riffs jazz piano
100 Years Of Popular Music 1980s Part Two Piano Vocal Guitar Chords noten 100 Years Of Popular Music 1980s Part Two Piano Vocal Guitar Chords
1000 Examples of Musical Dictation (Ladukhin, Nikolay) 1000 Examples of Musical Dictation
1000 Words – Final Fantasy X-2.mscz
1001 Blues Licks by Toby Wine – Piano free sheet music pdf 1001 Blues Licks by Toby Wine – Piano
1001 Jazz Licks A Complete Jazz Vocabulary For The Improvising Musician (Jack Shneidman) sheet music download 1001 Jazz Licks A Complete Jazz Vocabulary For The Improvising Musician (Jack Shneidman)
101 Cançoes Que Tocaram O Brasil Nelson Motta (Book) (Brazilian Portuguese) sheet music
101 Frank Sinatra Hits For Buskers free scores download 101 Frank Sinatra Hits For Buskers
101 Mississippi Delta Blues Fingerpicking Licks Guitar and TAB by Larry McCabe free sheet music Larry McCabe – 101 Mississippi Delta Blues Fingerpicking Licks
101 Must-Know Blues Licks (Guitar Educational) (Wolf Marshall) PDF + MP3 audio tracks Play Along with Tablature free sheet music download 101 Must-Know Blues Licks (Guitar Educational) (Wolf Marshall)
1015 Songs – The Original Musicians’s (Musicals) free sheet music & scores pdf 1015 Songs – The Original, Musicians’s (Musicals)
106 Songs Everybody Plays free sheet music & pdf scores download 106 Songs Everybody Plays
11 Short Classical Piano Pieces sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti noten  11 Short Classical Piano Pieces
116 Arrangements Of Baroque, Classical & Ballet Pieces For Piano Solo 116 Arrangements Of Baroque Classical Ballet Pieces For Piano Solo 116 Arrangements Of Baroque, Classical & Ballet Pieces For Piano Solo
129 Easy Pieces For Piano Solo, also for beginners free sheet music & pdf scores download 129 easy pieces for piano solo
12th Street RAG – Liberace Collection Book of 5 compositions free sheet music & pdf scores download sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti
12th Street Rag by Euday Bowman (Piano Solo sheet music, Noten, partition, partitura, spartito).mscz
150 Best Songs For Acoustic Guitar free sheet music pdf
150 Of The Best Jazz Standards Ever free sheet music download
partitions gratuites Noten spartiti 150 Of The Best Jazz Standards Ever
150 Of The Most Beautiful Songs Ever 3rd Edition sheet music 150 Of The Most Beautiful Songs Ever 3rd Edit1 and 150 Of The Most Beautiful Songs Ever 3rd Edit2
16 Pop and Movies Hits Keyboard Piano Book (Mike Emerson) sheet music download partitions gratuites Noten spartiti partituras 16 Pop and Movies Hits Keyboard Piano Book (Mike Emerson)
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue The Musical By Leonard Bernstein And Alan Jay Lerner Vocal Selections sheet music download
partitions gratuites Noten spartiti partituras
17 Moments of Spring – Mgnovenia (Mikael Tariverdiev)
1812 Overture Op. 49 Thaikovsky (arr. piano solo) sheet music pdf
20 Century Fox Theme Transcription By Deusde Coppen sheet music download partitions gratuites Noten spartiti partituras
20 Modern BEBOP Licks – by Noah Kellman All Keys with left hands chords free sheet music download
partitions gratuites Noten spartiti partituras 20 Modern BEBOP Licks – by Noah Kellman All Keys with left hands chords
200 Jazz Standards Tunes (chords progressions for C Instruments) Bob Taylor free sheet music pdf 200 Jazz Standards Tunes (chords progressions for C Instruments) Bob Taylor
200 Of The Best Songs From Jazz Of The ’50s 200 Of The Best Songs From Jazz jazz of the 50s
2018 Greatest Pop Movie Hits Songbook For Piano free scores download 2018 Greatest Pop Movie Hits Songbook For Piano
2019 GREATEST POP MOVIE HITS SONGBOOK FOR PIANO PART 2 Piano sheet music (Jim Presley) free sheet music download
partitions gratuites Noten spartiti 2019 GREATEST POP MOVIE HITS SONGBOOK FOR PIANO PART 2 Piano sheet music (Jim Presley)
2020 GREATEST POP PIANO SHEET MUSIC BOOK free sheet music partitura partition noten 2020 GREATEST POP PIANO SHEET MUSIC BOOK
2020 Greatest Pop Piano Sheet Music Book Songbooks For Piano free scores download 2020 Greatest Pop Piano Sheet Music Book Songbooks For Piano
20th Century Classics Volume 1 free sheet music & scores pdf 20th Century Classics Volume 1
20th Century Jazz Guitar by Richie Zellon (with Tablature) free download sheet music & scores pdf 20th Century Jazz Guitar by Richie Zellon
20th Century Masters Of Fingerstyle Guitar by John Stropes free sheet music download
partitions gratuites Noten spartiti 20th Century Masters Of Fingerstyle Guitar by John Stropes
20th Century Piano Music – Book (1990) David Burge free download sheet music & scores pdf 20th Century Piano Music Book (1990) David Burge
24 Etudes Op.35 – Fernando Sor (1778 – 1839) (Musescore File).mscz
24_Preludes_Op.34 Shostakovich.mscz
25 Short Classical Guitar Pieces (with Tablature) sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti noten 25 Short Classical Guitar Pieces
262 Classic Piano Rags Various Composers free sheet music & scores pdf 262 Classic Piano Rags Various Composers
28 Modern Jazz Trumpet Solos Book 2 sheet music download 28 Modern Jazz Trumpet Solos Book 2
3.10 to Yuma (Marco Beltrami)
30 Best Rock Guitar Songs Ever (Guitar TABs) sheet music download
partitions gratuites Noten spartiti partituras
30 Best Rock Guitar Songs Ever (Guitar TABs)
300 Sacred Songs Melody Lyrics Chords Fake Book Melody Lyrics Chords sheet music download partitions gratuites Noten spartiti partituras 300 Sacred Songs Melody Lyrics Chords Fake Book Melody Lyrics Chords_compressed
36 Christmas Carols Songs sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti 36 christmas carols songs
38 Special Guitar Anthology Guitar Recorded Vers. with Tablature free sheet music & scores pdf download 38 special guitar anthology
39 Progressive Solos For Classical Guitar (with Tablature) sheet music score download partitura partition 39 Progressive Solos For Classical Guitar
39 Progressive Solos For Classical Guitar Book 2 (with Tablature) sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti 39 Progressive Solos For Classical Guitar Book 2 sheet music pdf
40 Easy Guitar Pieces (Painted with the Sound) sheet music download partitions gratuites Noten spartiti partituras
49 Most Popular Jazz Songs sheet music pdf 49 Most Popular Jazz Songs
5 Christmas Songs Sheet Music Trumpet in B & Piano accompaniment (Viktor Dick) 5 Christmas Songs Sheet Music Trumpet in B & Piano accompaniement (Viktor Dick)
50 Broadway Shows 50 Broadway Songs free sheet music & scores pdf 50 Broadway Shows 50 Broadway Songs
50 Classical Guitar Solos In Tablature (Howard Wallach) with Tablature free scores download 50 Classical Guitar Solos In Tablature (Howard Wallach)
50 Essential Bebop Heads Arranged For Guitar Tablature (best lines Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and more) sheet music download 50 Essential Bebop Heads Arranged For Guitar Tablature (best lines Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and more)
50 Gershwin Classics Songbook free downloadsheet music & scores pdf 50 Gershwin Classics Songbook
50 Jazz Standards Every Jazz Musician Needs To Know with MP3 audio tracks to Play Along sheet music 50 Jazz Standards Every Jazz Musician Needs To Know – C version
50 Of The Most Beautiful Piano Love Songs Solos Ever. noten 50 OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PIANO LOVE SONGS SOLOS EVER
50 Piano Arrangements Of Hymns And Gospel Songs 50 Piano Arrangements Of Hymns sheet music 50 Piano Arrangements Of Hymns sheet music
50 Piano Classics – Easy free sheet music pdf 50 piano classics
50 Riffs For Blues Guitar – Martin Shellard with MP3 audio to Play Along with Tablature 50 Riffs For Blues Guitar - Martin Shellard 50 riffs for blues guitar
500 Piano Intros For The Great Standards – Steinway free sheet music & scores pdf 500 piano intros
55 Country Classics (Voice, piano, Guitar) sheet music download 55 Country Classics (Voice, piano, Guitar)
557 Standards (Sheet Music – Piano) A great lead sheet compilation cover 44 Standards (Sheet Music – Piano)
60 Progressive Solos For Classical Guitar By Mark Phillips (with Tablature) sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti
67 Fun Songs arranged by Jon Schmidt (Piano) sheet music download
partitions gratuites Noten spartiti partituras
70’s Hits (Easy Piano Solos) – Hans-Gunter Heumann [Piano, Vocal, Chords] sheet music pdf sheet music pdf
750.000 anni fa.l’Amore (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso)
75th Anniversary A Tribute In Music From The 20s Through The 90s Various Artists Warner Bros sheet music download 75th Anniversary A Tribute In Music From The 20s Through The 90s Various Artists Warner Bros
78 Quarterly No 1 and 2 (1967) Book magazine free sheet music download
partitions gratuites Noten spartiti
8 ½ Theme (Nino Rota)
8 Femmes (Krishna Levy)
8 Jazz scales you need to know.mscz
80 Most Requested LDS Songs (Mormon music) sheet music download partitura partition spartito 80 Most Requested LDS Songs (Mormon music)
88 Piano Classics For Beginners – David Dutkanicz sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti 88 Piano Classics For Beginners – David Dutkanicz
88 The Giants Of Jazz Piano by Robert L. Foerschuk (Book) foreword by Keith Jarrett sheet music
9 easy guitar pieces – Sveinn Eythorsson sheet music pdf
97 Oeuvres pour Guitare de Jean Francois DELCAMP sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti 97 Oeuvres pour Guitare de Jean Francois DELCAMP
99 Easy Piano Pieces free sheet music download
partitions gratuites Noten spartiti 99 Easy Piano Pieces
A Beautiful Mind – A Kalidoscope of Mathematics sheet music pdf
A Beautiful Mind – All Love Can Be A Beautiful Mind – All Love Can Be
A Beautiful Mind – Kalidoscope
A Child Is Born – Oscar Peterson (Musescore File).mscz
A Chordal Concept For Jazz Guitar by Peter O’Mara sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti  A Chordal Concept For Jazz Guitar by Peter O’Mara
A Ciascuno il Suo (Luis Bacalov)
A Clare Benediction – John Rutter – Piano Solo Arr. (Musescore File).mscz
A Clockwork Orange (Beethoviana) A Clockwork Orange (Beethoviana)
A Clockwork Orange (Beethoviana) (Musescore File).mscz
A Comparative Study Of The 24 Preludes Of A. Scriabin And Sergei Rachmaninoff (book) free sheet music & pdf scores download
A Complete Course of Instruction For The Piano-Forte (Dr Karl Merz) (1885) sheet music download Instruction…
A Cool Yule. Ten Jazzy Christmas Songs sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti A Cool Yule. Ten Jazzy Christmas Songs
A Creative Approach To Jazz Piano Harmony Bill Dobbins free sheet music A Creative Approach To Jazz Piano Harmony Bill Dobbins
A Creative Approach To Practicing JAZZ – by David Baker free sheet music pdf A Creative Approach To pravtising Jazz
A Dance of Dragons – Blood of the Dragon (Game of Thrones) Piano solo arr. a dance of dragons sheet music
A Dictionary of Music and Musicians Vol. 4 (A.D. 1450-1880) Edited in 1889 free sheet music & scores pdf
A dozen A Day Book 1 Technical exercises for the piano sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti A dozen A Day Book 1 Technical exercises for the piano
A dozen A Day Book 2 Technical exercises for the piano sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti
A dozen A Day Book 3 Technical exercises for the piano sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti
A dozen A Day Book 4 Technical exercises for the piano sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti
A dozen A Day Mini Book Technical exercises for the piano sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti
A dozen Day Preparatory Book Technical exercises for the piano sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti
A Farewell To Arms Love Theme From A Farewell To Arms film by Mario Nascimbene Francis Webster 1957 free sheet music partitura partition noten
A Felicidade (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
A Festival Gathering Of Carols (Musescore File).mscz
A Fine Frenzy – Almost Lover free sheet music download
partitions gratuites Noten spartiti
A Fistful of Dollars (Ennio Morricone)
sheet music library

It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive our new posts in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.