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I’m translating a documentary about a Hungarian folk-jazz musician into English and there are a few words, which I am sure are very simple, yet which I simply cannot find a solution for anywhere on the Net. I’d like to describe the situation, give a literal translation of what is said (which may, indeed, be correct, though it sounds odd to me), and then ask any practising musicians (genre not important) to let me know what they would say in the given situation. Thanks in advance!

1. A rehearsal. The pianist tells the drummer to get ready for a change in the music: “After a quarter”

2. A rehearsal. The pianist tells the drummer to stop playing for a moment while the music continues: “Break!” / “Pause!”

3. A rehearsal. The violist shouts to the others that the tune is about to end = he is about to end the tune. “End!”

4. In the studio. The musician tells the sound mixer that the timing of what he has mixed into the track isn’t right = it should be inserted a bit later. “It should be one round later.” Here the “round” means a repeated series of chords, a verse in a song, a period of music, a section... But in one word, what would a real musician and not a tone-deaf translator call it? A phrase, perhaps?

  • "violist" is of course possible. It means someone who plays a viola. Just checking: Are you sure you don't mean violinist - someone who plays violin? I would expect that in a folk jazz band rather than a viola. – chasly from UK Mar 15 at 22:22
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  1. A rehearsal. The pianist tells the drummer to get ready for a change in the music: “After a quarter”

This one I'm not sure about. It could be refer to a quarter note, which is basically one beat, but it is hard to tell out of context.

  1. A rehearsal. The pianist tells the drummer to stop playing for a moment while the music continues: “Break!” / “Pause!”

"Break!" is probably correct. That is exactly what I would expect to hear on an American bandstand in this situation.

  1. A rehearsal. The violist shouts to the others that the tune is about to end = he is about to end the tune. “End!”

"End" is probably correct. In America, some people might say "out" - short for "play it out" or "play to the end," but I've also heard people yell "End."

  1. In the studio. The musician tells the sound mixer that the timing of what he has mixed into the track isn’t right = it should be inserted a bit later. “It should be one round later.” Here the “round” means a repeated series of chords, a verse in a song, a period of music, a section... But in one word, what would a real musician and not a tone-deaf translator call it? A phrase, perhaps?

The word most jazz musicians use for one repetition of a series of chords is "chorus." Saying, "It should be one chorus later," is something a jazz musician would definitely say. Although, saying "one round later" wouldn't sound completely crazy ... I used to know a jazz musician who called chorus "go-arounds" (e.g. "Play the melody, I'll take a go-around, and then we'll play it out.")

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    @b3ko the "head" usually refers to the melody of the song. The length of the head is usually the same as a chorus, but the words are not interchangeable. – Peter Mar 14 at 21:13
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    @Peter Great stuff, thank you very, very much! Re:1 There is sadly very little context. The pianist is referring to the imminent break. The theme is played (twice over) by the violinist and then the pianist shouts "Break!" (and the drummer misses his cue...) The scene in the film is merely to convey a vibe rather than any concrete information, I just don't want to write anything screamingly wrong... The gentlemen in question (if not the film I'm working on, which is confidential) can be enjoyed here: youtube.com/watch?v=PVYZuLVx7nA Thank you once again for your time and kindness! – Hal Asangol Mar 14 at 22:32
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    I cannot imagine a situation where it would be practical to tell the drummer that something was going to change in one quarter note; that's likely way too fast to react to or prepare for. – user45266 Mar 14 at 23:59
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    @HalAsangol - Could the first line be interpreted as "a quarter (note) later"? If the band stops after the drummer misses the cue, and then the pianist says something like "after a quarter," he could be saying "a beat later." Without seeing it, though, I'm completely guessing. – Peter Mar 15 at 3:39
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    @HalAsangol On further reflection, I think you should probably stick with "round" in the fourth statement. Chorus has a very precise meaning, and sometimes a chorus has multiple sections, and it is plausible that he is referring to something like that. Since you don't know the exact context, may as well stick with "round." It's appropriately vague, and it would not sound wrong to a musician viewer. – Peter Mar 15 at 3:51
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I think it's more likely that "after a quarter" means after a four-bar chunk, or possibly a 16-bar section (much of jazz is built on 4s and 16s), although 16 bars is more likely a "round" or "chorus" as Peter wrote.

Another faint possibility as that "quarter" refers to a 'bridge,' i.e. a short free-form bit connecting two different themes.

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