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Swing music, also known as swing jazz or simply swing, is a form of jazz music that arose in the United States in the early 1930s and turned against 1935 developed into a distinctive style. Under the impulse of big bands such as those of Fletcher HendersonDuke Ellington and Count Basie was this music with its exciting rhythms particularly popular as dance music. The flowering period of the swing ran from approximately 1930 to mid forties.

In the American tradition is swing usually associated with the music of Count Basie, among others, Duke EllingtonGlenn Miller and Benny Goodman. In the European tradition is usually associated with the gipsy jazzswing-music by among others Django ReinhardtStéphane Grappelli and their Quintette du Hot Club de France .

Some features of the music of this style period are:

  • Use of a swing rhythm
  • Tempi often medium or upbeat, with accent on the second and fourth moments of a 4/4 time
  • Instrumental solos are the musical focal point and replace the vocals (which only made popular again by Louis Armstrong is)

Instrumental seen one starts to crystallize the typical jazz ensemble , among other things by the following characteristics:


The jazz styles in the period 1920-1930 were usually played with rhythms with two beats, often to the objective was the style of contrapuntal improvisation, developed by the first generation of jazz musicians in New Orleans, to reproduce. In the late 1920 's, however, were larger ensembles with written-out arrangements the norm, and a subtle stylistic shift took place in the rhythm, that a ' four beat'-feeling developed with a smoothly syncopated style of play, while the rhythm section the melody supported with a steadily viertels-rhythm.

Just as jazz became swing created by African Americans, and its effect on the total American culture was such that it was the name of a whole era in the USA: the swing era. Swing music normally did not appeal to strings and used simpler arrangements in which the blazers and improvised melodies were given an important role. Louis Armstrong downplayed during a radio broadcast, in which Bing Crosby introduced him as The master of Swing , the innovation that swing brought as follows: "Ah, swing, well, we called the syncopations-then they called it ragtime, then blues - jazzthen. Now it's ' swing '. That whites make a mess of it. "