Big Band
File:Stan Kenton Big Band.JPG
File:Stan Kenton Big Band.JPG
and Swing Music

The big band was a style of music that became popular during the swing era from the early 1930s until the late 1940s. The bands usually consisted of 12-25 members playing various instruments and vocalists. Big Bands consisted of very upbeat and fast paced rhythm music and songs. This is because it is suppose to invoke dancing and happy moods in the many people who listen to it. Much of the music was written and designed with the purpose of being able to dance as the music
is played.

"Stan Kenton Big Band" photographer:Hans Bernhard--courtesy of creative commons


Big Bands became widely popular in the 1930s and 1940s because the upbeat music played by these bands gave the listeners an escape from the harsh realities of every day life during the Great Depression. Listening to big bands were another way people delt with adversity. People who were having a bad day or week could go to the local clubs or places where bands were playing and just dance and have fun for the night. They could forget about the massive debt they were in and the fact that economy was completly down the toilet. Also, as opposed to many other forms of entertainment, it was rather cheap since you could buy one record and play it over and over again or just listen to songs on the radio.

" MardiGrasBall1930s" photogropher:Unnamed WPA photographer-- courtesy of creative commons

Swing music, also known as swing jazz or just swing, is a form of jazz music that developed in the early 1930s and became a distinctive style by 1935 in the U.S. Swing uses a strong rhythm section of double bass and drums as the lead section of brass instruments (such as trumpets, trombones). Swing also includes woodwinds (including saxophones and clarinets), and sometimes stringed instruments such as violin and guitar. Swing is normally medium to fast tempos and a "lilting" swing rhythm. Swing bands usually have soloists who improvise on the melody of the arrangement. The danceable style of Swing leaders, such as Benny Goodman and Count Basie, was the head form of popular American swing music from 1935 to 1945.

Work was hard to find in the midst of the Great Depression. Record sales were at an all time low and many Americans discovered the free entertainment world of radio. The unification of American society through music began during the Great Depression. Swing music had a great effect on the era. The dancing, clothing, and dialogue of the time reflected the music. Swing music's popularity through the 1930s and 1940s helped many people through the hard times.