Brief History of Swing Music

Swing music is a form of jazz that became popular in the early 30s. It features strong rhythms and brass instruments such as trombones and saxophones. The tempo is typically a faster pace, and doesn’t always have lyrics associated. Swing has been popular since its introduction, and has experienced several revivals over the decades.

Worldwide Acclaim

By 1935 swing music was huge in the United States. By the 40s it was popular in England and Germany. Unfortunately, World War II introduced a decline in the popularity for several reasons. Many of the big band artists were called to fight overseas, the large orchestras known with swing were difficult to finance during the depression, and recording bans due to musician strikes helped to keep the music from hitting the streets.


By the beginning of 1949 the ban had ended and swing styles evolved in to new styles. Jump blues and bebop both became popular as a result of swing. The style could be seen crossing all genres of music, including country and rock by the early 50s.

New Age Swing

In the late 90s another resurgence of popularity occurred. Groups like Big Bad Voodoo Daddies, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and Cherry Poppin Daddies brought swing back to a new generation. Using lyrics that the youth could relate to, and the classic orchestra style swing, it was popping up on the radio and in dance clubs all over the world.

It hasn’t faded in to the background quite yet. Many newer musicians still incorporate swing elements in to their albums, and swing music clubs can still be found across the nation.

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