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which was true about swing music

which was true about swing music

which was true about swing music

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Swing music

Swing music is a style of jazz that developed in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s. The name derived from its emphasis of the off–beat, or nominally weaker beat. Swing bands usually featured soloists who would improvise on the melody over the arrangement.

The danceable swing style of big bands and bandleaders such as Benny Goodman was the dominant form of American popular music from 1935 to 1946, known as the swing era. The verb “to swing” is also used as a term of praise for playing that has a strong groove or drive. Musicians of the swing era include Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Harry James, Lionel Hampton, Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw.


Swing has its roots in 1920s dance music ensembles, which began using new styles of written arrangements, incorporating rhythmic innovations pioneered by Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter and other jazzmen. During the World War II era Swing began to decline in popularity, and after war, bebop and jump blues gained popularity.

Swing blended with other genres to create new musical styles. In country music, artists such as Jimmie Rodgers, Moon Mullican, Milton Brown and Bob Wills introduced elements of swing along with blues to create a genre called “western swing”. Famous roma guitarist Django Reinhardt created gypsy swing music and composed the gypsy swing standard “Minor Swing”.

which was true about swing music
which was true about swing music


In the late 1980s to early 1990s, new urban-styled swing-beat emerged called new jack swing (New York go-go), created by young producer Teddy Riley. In the late 1990s and into the 2000s, there was a swing revival, led by Squirrel Nut Zippers, Brian Setzer orchestra and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Early swing

As the 1920s turned to the 1930s, the new concepts in rhythm and ensemble playing that comprised the swing style were transforming the sounds of large and small bands. Starting in 1928, The Earl Hines Orchestra was broadcast throughout much of the midwest from the Grand Terrace Cafe in Chicago, where Hines had the opportunity to expound upon his new approaches to rhythm and phrasing with a big band.

Hines’ arranger Jimmy Mundy would later contribute to the catalog of the Benny Goodman Orchestra. The Duke Ellington Orchestra had its new sounds broadcast nationally from New York’s Cotton Club, followed by the Cab Calloway Orchestra and the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra. Also in New York, the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra featured the new style at the Roseland Ballroom and the swing powerhouse Chick Webb Orchestra started its extended stay at the Savoy Ballroom in 1931.


Bennie Moten and the Kansas City Orchestra showcased the riff-propelled, solo-oriented form of swing that had been developing in the hothouse of Kansas City. Emblematic of the evolving music was the change in the name of Moten’s signature tune, from “Moten Stomp” to “Moten Swing”. Moten’s orchestra had a highly successful tour in late 1932. Audiences raved about the new music, and at the Pearl Theatre in Philadelphia in December 1932, the doors were let open to the public who crammed into the theatre to hear the new sound, demanding seven encores from Moten’s orchestra.

With the early 1930s came the financial difficulties of the Great Depression that curtailed recording of the new music and drove some bands out of business, including the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra and McKinney’s Cotton Pickers in 1934. Henderson’s next business was selling arrangements to up-and-coming bandleader Benny Goodman. “Sweet” dance music remained most popular with white audiences but the Casa Loma Orchestra and the Benny Goodman Orchestra went against that grain, targeting the new swing style to younger audiences.

Which was true about swing music?

A. American soldiers did not enjoy it. B. It was the most popular form of music in America. C. It was not widespread during the war years. D. It was seldom heard on the radio. None

The correct answer is letter B.Explanation: Swing is a United States-developed style of jazz that dominated the 1930s and 1940s. The name swing came from the ‘swing feel’, where the emphasis is on the pulse outside the beat or weaker of the song.

Swing has to do with the rhythm of the music where accented notes are played at roughly twice the emphasis of the non-accented notes. A simple way of explaining this is to say the word “bicycle:” it has three syllables, but the emphasis of the first syllable is roughly twice that of the last two.


Swing was the predominant style of jazz music played from the late 1920s to mid-1940s. It is usually played by big band ensembles that use a rhythm section with drums, bass, sometimes a guitar, and almost always a piano, a brass section of trumpets and trombones, and a reed section of saxophones and clarinets.

Musicians who are most known for their contributions to swing music include Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Billie Holliday, Slim Gaillard, Lionel Hampton, Fats Waller, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong…and we’re just getting started. Many musicians also carried the tradition of hard-swinging rhythm past the swing era, and bring us a whole new generation of swinging jazz.

which was true about swing music
which was true about swing music

Lindy Hop

Lindy Hop, the dance that started it all, stands today as America’s true folk dance. Legend has it that one of the Harlem’s best in the day, Shorty George Snowden, coined the name when he saw a newspaper headline, “Lindy Hops the Atlantic” in 1927, the year that Charles A. Lindbergh made the first ever transatlantic flight.

The dance was first created by African-American kids during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s. Like swinging jazz, Lindy Hop is improvisational and playful, which is what makes social dancing fun and its competitions so delightful to watch.


The Lindy Hop’s renaissance period began in 1984 when Frankie Manning, a pioneer of the dance in the 1930s and choreographer for the famous troupe Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, came out of retirement. He appeared in the 1941 film Hellzapoppin’, performing a swing routine (complete with aerials) that is now universally recognized in the swing world. By the late 1990s, the swing craze was booming; many nationwide had caught the jitterbug.

Swing Dancing Today

These days, people dance to not only classic big band swing tunes, but also electro swing songs by artists like Caravan Palace and Parov Stelar. Modern East Coast Swing dancers are also inspired by dance styles such as West Coast Swing, Tango, and Hip Hop.

Competitions that range from the International Lindy Hop Championships to the inventive and unconventional Jedi Swing Finals take place every year. As a social dance, swing continues to attract a vibrant crowd of all ages as it fosters life skills such as connection, trust, and improvisation in one of the most irresistibly fun ways possible!

What is the Shim Sham?

Originally a tap dance routine performed during the 1930s, the Shim Sham became popular in the swing community after Frankie Manning adapted it for swing dancers. It is now often danced at social dances, usually to “Tain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That Cha Do It)” by Jimmie Lunceford. Since the choreography for the Shim Sham consists of ten eight-count phrases, dancers usually pair up with a random partner to dance until the end of the song, while the DJ occasionally yells out directions such as “Freeze,” “Slow Motion,” or “Dance” to spice things up.

What are Jams?

When dancers form a Jam Circle, different couples take turns going into the center of the circle to show off their moves. However, Jams are also commonly used to commemorate special occasions, such as birthdays (there are birthday jams, visitor jams, and farewell jams, just to name a few)! The dancers in the outside circle take turns ‘stealing’ the special person (or people) in the center throughout the song. Check out the video on the left for an example of a birthday jam, and the one on the right for a great demo of jamming and stealing!

Rise of the Swing Era

The start of swing music is hard to pinpoint. The word ‘swing’ appears in the title of a famous Duke Ellington number from 1932 called ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)’ and in another song from that same year called ‘Moten Swing’ by Bennie Moten.

Many scholars see ‘Star Dust’ by Hoagy Carmichael, topping the charts in 1932, as the first true swing number. ‘Star Dust’ was composed in 1927 and first recorded in 1929. After words were added in 1931, the song rose to fame the following year. The repeal of Prohibition in late 1933 is seen as another factor in the rise of swing music.


By 1936, band leader and clarinetist Benny Goodman had been dubbed ‘The King of Swing’ and the sale of Big Band jazz recordings was taking off. Goodman’s rival was band leader and clarinetist Artie Shaw. Shaw’s rise to popularity came with the song ‘Begin the Beguine’.

Band leader and innovative drummer Chick Webb took a children’s song (‘A-Tisket, A-Tasket’) and with canary Ella Fitzgerald, turned it into a killer-diller. These two songs came out in 1938. The following year, another hep-cat named Glenn Miller came out with his big hit ‘In the Mood’. By this same time, clergy and music critics were blasting swing music as disgusting because it was demoralizing and degrading young people.

which was true about swing music
which was true about swing music

Commonly 12 to 16 players

Swing is sometimes considered a partial dilution of the jazz tradition because it organized musicians into larger groups (commonly 12 to 16 players) and required them to play a far higher proportion of written music than had been thought compatible with the fundamentally improvisatory character of jazz.

Nevertheless, it was the first jazz idiom that proved commercially successful.

Big swing bands

The big swing bands organized their players into sections of brass, woodwinds, and rhythm and hired skilled orchestrators to write music for them.

A popular device was the riff, a simple musical phrase reiterated by a band or by a section in counterpoint with other sections’ riffing until, by sheer power of repetition, it became almost hypnotic. The bands led by the Black pianist Fletcher Henderson in the 1920s were especially important in disseminating these musical ideas, which were then picked up by white orchestras riding the later tide of swing’s popularity.

Henderson and his brother Horace remained among the most influential swing arrangers of the following decade. Equally as important was Duke Ellington, whose music was infused with a unique range of harmonies and sound colours.

which was true about swing music
which was true about swing music

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