Swing History- From 1920 -Today

The turn of the century was instrumental in music. In the southern region of the United States, the African American community brought about a form of music that combined blues with syncopation, and jazz was born.

Jazz began popping up in underground clubs, and spread through the communities like wildfire. It spurred several sub-genres of music, including Ragtime, Dixieland Jazz, and the ever popular Swing Jazz.

Swing jazz was different than the traditional jazz sounds of the early years. By the mid 30s musicians were adding heavy rhythm sections along with brass and woodwind instruments. The result was a large band that belted out music that was smooth and easily danced to. The arrangements for swing tended to be edgier than its predecessor.

Swing music became huge in the night club scene. Its popularity spread throughout the United States, and started crossing the pond in to parts of Europe. Even German artists were starting to make it big in the swing scene by the end of the 30s.

The popularity of the genre couldn’t be squashed, even with declines seen in the aftermath of the war and the depression. While sales declined, the genre led the way for many newer forms of swing music. The rockabilly movement, gypsy swing, western swing, and more modern forms of ska-swing took its place.

Today swing music remains a commodity. Many newer bands use swing as the base for other forms of music. Acid jazz is a form of swing that is popular in the club scene today. It combines more modern hip hop and funk in with a swing backbone.

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