Entry for EPMOW by Philip Tagg

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changes: short for ‘chord changes’. 1. term used mainly by jazz musicians in the English-speaking world to denote any harmonic progression; 2. such a chord progression forming the basis for improvisation; 3. any progression of at least three chords, often more, recurring consecutively several times during performance of the same number.

Colloquial examples of usage: (i) ‘the La bamba changes go one, four, five’ (see turnaround [2]); (ii) ‘which changes do you use in the middle eight of Round About Midnight?’; (iii) ‘I was trying to work out the changes on that recording’. See also harmony.


  • Monk, Thelonious. 1993. ‘Round About Midnight’. Solo 1954. Vogue 15022.
  • Valens, Ritchie. 1959. La Bamba. Del-Fi 4110 (UK reissue 1987, RCA PB 41435).