Particularly in big band music, a progression may culminate in a climax followed by a short disorganized part (a few bars at most), where everyone "plays what they want". After that phase of chaos the band picks up its tidy work again.

What is the name of this part and how do you indicate it in the score?

I used to think it was called bisbigliando, but I just Googled that and learned that it's some kind of trill.

I don't have a good example at hand, but if you listen to Brian Setzer at 1:50 you may get the idea. It is basically just a long note played somewhat slovenly. It can get a lot more extreme than that.

Rock bands sometimes use a similar technique at the end of a song, followed by the final "bang", like what Cream does here at 6:18. However, the song almost never picks up after the chaotic part, but ends. Not sure if that goes by the same name, does it?


I now remember where I heard it the first time. It was in the book "The professional arranger composer" by Russell Garcia. It comes with a 45 single, containing a song "Force 12". You can see it on Google Books.

He marks the part I mean (page 75) with wavy lines and the word "bisbigliando", thought in the text he puts it in quotes as if it is not the correct name. I can't for the life of me find an audio file containing this song.

  • In what regards rock songs endings I've allways refered to this type of ending as an "ad lib" ending or finale. If there is a more specific word I'd also like to know it. Regarding big bands I confess I was not aware of this phenomena in the middle of songs, and to be honest the example provided is not too clear to me. Again, I look forward to know more about that... Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 22:27
  • The example isn't totally clear to me either. At 1:49 there's almost a false ending indicated by those brass stabs, but the music doesn't actually stop, it just goes into a short guitar solo. In the context of rock music I understand what you mean, but I'm not sure how it relates to the Brian Setzer example. Some words to look up might be "outro", "coda" and "tag", but I don't think any of them are quite right!
    – Bacs
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 10:02
  • I will try to find a better example than Brian Setzer. The thing I was referring to in Americano is the long note before the guitar sets in. Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 10:09
  • Sometimes the best-sounding chaos is in fact carefully scripted. If everyone plays semirandomly you may get a less dramatic effect. (Reminds me of the scene in "Day for Night" where the director asks for random background chatter, and says "but don't talk about movies") . Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 11:24
  • I think in modern music it is just usually called the break down.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


This might not be exactly what you're looking for, but the general name for the period after the climax is the dénouement. It's a French word loosely referencing the untying of a knot; it's the point in a drama where the complexities of the plot line are resolved and the drama proceeds towards its conclusion. (You may want to check out the Wikipedia page.)

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