A style of music developed in the 1940s by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Instead of big bands, musicians tended to form smaller ensembles. The focus was on the soloists, who took extended solos, showcasing their virtuosity and harmonic knowledge. As jazz fell out of favor with popular audiences, Bebop pushed the music into a more intellectual vein, and perhaps marks jazz’ crossover from pop music to art music.
Read my full description of bebop as well as my list of Ten Bebop Musicians.