1930s Swing Band Era Swing music or just swing, is a type of musical genre originated in the early 1930s. It refers to a distinctive rhythmic style based on triple sections of the beat. This energetic music was introduced in the 1920s by the stride pianists and has been a typical feature of the jazz music throughout the decades and beyond. Swing is associated with style in jazz that was popular relatively from 1930 until the 1940s. The swing era is performed generally by big bands, which have reached wider audiences over the radio, on dance halls and records. Swing uses a powerful rhythm section of drums and double bass as the lead section anchors of the brass instruments like trombones, trumpets, woodwinds such as the clarinets and saxophones and sometimes stringed instruments including guitar and violin. It is characterized for its fast tempo and swing time rhythm. Each instrument served a specific role in the ensemble and apart from the melodies, the sections were frequently improvised. Swing band arrangements mostly consist of basic, recurrent materials or also known as “riffs”. Improvisation was given a preferential role and soloist would perform while the rest of the band, besides the rhythm section, stopped or played some background lines. When we say “to swing”, is a term of praise for playing a robust rhythmic drive or groove. One of the things that made swing music so popular was its compelling intensity and abandon which exemplified freedom and happiness during the hard times. It was a period of Great Depression which has led many Americans to suffer and dancing to swing music had helped alleviate their worries. The music industry slowly picked up in 1937 triggered in part by the swing music craze and the presence of jukeboxes almost everywhere—from ice cream parlors, speakeasies and drug stores. With the growing popularity of big band swing came another opportunity for numerous companies to sell products that appeal to everyone from phonograph owners and dancers to side men and band leaders. Here’s a list of the movers and shakers of the swing era: 1. Freddie Green – He was known for defining the role of guitar in a big band scene. His 50-year music career was mostly with Court Basie’s orchestra. His guitar playing style was known for its melodious accuracy and how it intertwined with the drums. 2. Gene Krupa – His rise to fame in the 30s came when he played drums with Benny Goodman’s band, showcasing his extravagant style on recordings like Goodman’s ”Sing, sing, sing”. He was referred as one of the most influential jazz drummers not just for the way he played it but also for his role in regulating techniques in jazz drumming. 3. Count Basie – He was considered one of the most accomplished bandleaders in jazz. He was a leader of his orchestra for nearly 50 years. His band was notable for playing easy, often bluesy musical arrangements where it concentrated on the effortless rhythmic texture, a feature in swing that bands in this era tried hard to achieve.