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Bebop is a style of jazz characterized by a fast tempo, instrumental virtuosity and improvisation based on the combination of harmonic structure and sometimes references to the melody. It was developed in the early and mid-1940s. This style of jazz ultimately became synonymous with modern jazz; modern jazz reached its final state of maturity in the 1960s. According to Wikipedia, "[s]ome of the most influential bebop artists" were "tenor sax players Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, and James Moody; alto sax player Charlie Parker; trumpeters Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, and Dizzy Gillespie; pianists Bud Powell, Mary Lou Williams, and Thelonious Monk; electric guitarist Charlie Christian, and drummers Kenny Clarke, Max Roach, and Art Blakey." Parker, Gillespie, and Monk, in particular, are seen as leading figures of bebop, especially in its early days. Since the 1950s, however, bebop has gradually become just one strain of jazz, with free jazz, latin jazz, and soul jazz having taken important roles in jazz music as a whole.