Musical Terms

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I think we are all familiar with the term groove. Where did it come from? Is it because a record has a groove for the needle? If so did music not groove before records?

Same thing with deep cut. I hear DJs use this term quite frequently. I get that it's a classic song that is huge, but why is it a deep cut?

Jam. We like to jam with others, in a jam room. This one baffles me. You can jam radar, get stuck in a traffic jam, and put jam on toast. How does music jam anything.

I know they are common terms we have accepted. Where did these terms come from? Got any other common weird terms used to describe music?
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I found this on an etymology site: "groovy (adj.)1850, "pertaining to a groove," from groove (n.) + -y (2). Slang sense of "first-rate, excellent" is 1937, American English, from jazz slang phrase in the groove (1932) "performing well (without grandstanding)." As teen slang for "wonderful," it dates from c. 1941; popularized 1960s, out of currency by 1980. Earlier colloquial figurative sense was "having a tendency to routine, inclined to a specialized and narrow way of life or thought" (1882). Related: Grooviness."
Interesting I've been reading about the evolution of music, which in early archaic humans and primates they had ability to sing-like other animals use "song" to communicate-so language. The first musical instruments with any regularity are 40k year old modern man instruments already sophisticated so believed earlier history (unknown as yet). The etymology of "drums" says "early 15c., drom, "percussive musical instrument consisting of a hollow wooden or metallic body and a tightly stretched head of membrane," probably from Middle Dutch tromme "drum," a common Germanic word (compare German Trommel, Danish tromme, Swedish trumma) and probably imitative of the sound of one.

Not common before 1570s; the slightly older, and more common at first, word was drumslade, apparently from Dutch or Low German trommelslag "drum-beat," "though it does not appear how this name of the action came to be applied to the instrument" [OED], and the English word might be a shortening of this. Other earlier words for it were tabour (c. 1300, ultimately from Persian; see tabor) and timpan (Old English; see tympanum)." Lot's of words and slang sayings make no sense-but that's why they are so popular LOL.
The earliest known drum was 30,000 years old when man used animal hide stretched to create sound. The first discovered is from an elephant skin used since it was preserved from scavenging in Antarctica’s ice age. Bone Flutes found 40-60k years old some modern human and some believed neanderthal. Now percussion instruments (rocks) found 165k years old (I guess the first drummers were "rock" drummers ROFL).

People would describe Steely Dan as a "tight" group-so I'm wondering are they a bunch of drunks or cheapskates LOL. Etymology bullcrap machine says Jam="jam (v.)"to press tightly" (trans.), 1719; "to become wedged" (intrans.), 1706, of unknown origin, perhaps a variant of Middle English cham "to bite upon something; gnash the teeth" (late 14c.; see champ (v.)). Of a malfunction in the moving parts of machinery by 1851. Sense of "cause interference in radio signals" is from 1914. Meaning "play in a jam session" is from 1935. Related: Jammed; jamming. The adverb is recorded from 1825, from the verb; jam-packed is from 1901, earlier jam-full (1830)."
 
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GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I think we are all familiar with the term groove. Where did it come from? Is it because a record has a groove for the needle? If so did music not groove before records?

Same thing with deep cut. I hear DJs use this term quite frequently. I get that it's a classic song that is huge, but why is it a deep cut?

Jam. We like to jam with others, in a jam room. This one baffles me. You can jam radar, get stuck in a traffic jam, and put jam on toast. How does music jam anything.

I know they are common terms we have accepted. Where did these terms come from? Got any other common weird terms used to describe music?
Deep cut is from the record being played so much the needle on the turntable made a "deep cut" in the record.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Our Mayor is yanking your chain.

The deep cuts are the great tracks on the album that weren't the hits.

Like Skynyrd deep cuts would be great songs like "Railroad Song" or "The Ballad of Curtis Loew" that missed the airwaves mostly.
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
All these words are like hipster slang daddy-o. If you don't get them you're a square, dig?
23 skidoo cats and kittens.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Deep cut is from the record being played so much the needle on the turntable made a "deep cut" in the record.
Our Mayor is yanking your chain.

The deep cuts are the great tracks on the album that weren't the hits.

Like Skynyrd deep cuts would be great songs like "Railroad Song" or "The Ballad of Curtis Loew" that missed the airwaves mostly.
Interesting. I can see it both ways. Play the hit song over and over and wear the groove down, or dig deep into the album to find the hidden gem.

Either way, I can stop arguing with the car radio about why it is a deep cut.

This whole thing came about this morning when I heard "Sir Duke". One of the lines goes:
But just because a record has a groove
Don't make it in the groove
I never really thought about it until today.
 

dboomer

Senior Member
Deep cut is from the record being played so much the needle on the turntable made a "deep cut" in the record.
My thought is back in the day on a vinyl record the “singles” were usually the the first song played. To get to these other cuts you had to play “deeper” into the record.
 
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