Word of the Day – Monday, November 21st



Word of the Day


Clever Clue of the Month

The Cruciverbalist


Daily Email

SCAT (skat)

Jazz singing in which improvised, nonsense syllables are sung to mimic an instrumental solo

Common clues: Fitzgerald forte; Sing like Mel Torme; Singing style; Improvise, musically; Go “shooby-doo,” or just “shoo”; Jazz technique; Emulate Ella; Torme specialty

Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year

Frequency in English language: 56092 / 86800

Video: Summertime – Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

I stole everything I ever heard, but mostly I stole from the horns ~ Ella Fitzgerald

Scat singing is vocalizing either wordlessly or with nonsense words and syllables as employed by jazz singers who create the equivalent of an instrumental solo using only the voice. Thus it is a type of voice instrumental.

Gifted with a three-octave vocal range, Ella Fitzgerald is noted for her purity of tone and "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

While the use of nonsense syllables in singing long predates scat, scat singing is distinguished by the fact that rather than using the sounds to exactly reproduce the melodic line, improvisations are made with the melody and rhythm, much as in other jazz improvisations.

Another form of jazz singing, vocalese, is closely related, but uses lyrics rather than nonsense syllables. Often, rather than improvising melodies, practitioners of vocalese sing lyrics to improvisations by instrumental performers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Scat singing".