Vocabulary from Langston Hughes's "Jazz as Communication"

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Full list of words from this list:

  1. jazz
    genre of American music that developed in the 20th century
    Somebody is going to rise up and tell me that nothing that comes out of Tin Pan Alley is jazz.
  2. montage
    the technique of splicing together different sections of film to convey an idea
    To me jazz is a montage of a dream deferred.
  3. denominator
    the divisor of a fraction
    And that’s what Rock and Roll is—teenage Heartbreak Hotel—the old songs reduced to the lowest common denominator.
  4. levee
    an embankment built to prevent a river from overflowing
    I never worked on a levee.
  5. heartache
    intense sorrow caused by loss of a loved one
    It borrows their gut-bucket heartache.
  6. seep
    pass gradually or leak or as if through small openings
    Jazz seeps into words—spelled out words.
  7. seminar
    a course offered for a small group of advanced students
    Maybe in the next seminar—for Saturday—Nat Hentoff and Billy Strayhorn and Tony Scott and the others on that panel will tell us about it—when they take up “The Future of Jazz.”
  8. blatant
    without any attempt at concealment; completely obvious
    It goes back further and borrows the steady beat of the drums of Congo Square—that going-on beat­—and the Marching Bands’ loud and blatant yes!!
  9. jubilee
    a special anniversary or the celebration of it
    It goes back to the jubilees and stepped-up Spiri­tuals—Sister Tharpe—and borrows their I’m-gonna-be-happy-anyhow-in-spite-of-this-world kind of hope.
  10. cleave
    separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
    Rock and Roll puts them all together and makes a music so basic it’s like the meat cleaver the butcher uses—before the cook uses the knife—before you use the sterling silver at the table on the meat that by then has been rolled up into a commercial filet mignon.
Created on February 1, 2016

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