Definition of twelve-bar in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtwelvbär/


Denoting or relating to a musical structure based on a sequence lasting twelve bars and typically consisting of three chords, the basic unit of much blues and rock and roll music.
Example sentences
  • Well, it's not exactly easy to keep coming up with novel variations on a form of music whose standard twelve-bar chord change pattern goes I-I-I-I IV-IV-I-I-V-IV-I-I, is it?
  • Despite the blues influences, he avoids traditional twelve-bar blues progressions.
  • Students listen to musical examples and try to write twelve-bar blues lyrics.


A song or piece of music having a twelve-bar structure.
Example sentences
  • If you're going to limit it to twelve-bars and variations thereof you'll have to either arbitrarily exclude a lot that's recognizably blues, or else arbitrarily expand your definition.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: twelve-bar

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