The Big Band Swing Era:The Glenn Miller Orchestra Ms. Purcell’s High School Jazz Band
Big Band Swing During the late 1930s and early 1940s, Big Band swing was the most popular music in America.
The Big Bands of the 1930s and 1940s brought a new sound to jazz, one that was much louder, faster, raucous than its predecessor. Improvised melodies became an important element of this kind of music. The instrumentation of these ensembles included clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, piano, double bass, and drums. Swing music is known for its strong rhythm section. Big Band Swing
Swing style is most defined by its unmistakable “swinging” rhythm. Eighth notes are “swung”. In other words, eighth notes in swing music are played instead as a dotted eighth-sixteenth rhythm. For example, in swing music, the rhythm would be played Swing Style
Special emphasis is also placed on the “and” of the beat in swing. While the downbeat of any eighth note pattern is elongated, the upbeats are accented. Vibrato is also used widely in Big Band Swing repertoire. Swing Style
Bandleaders • Some famous bandleaders of the Big Band Swing Era include: • Benny Goodman • The Dorsey Brothers • Count Basie • Duke Ellington • Woody Herman • Cab Calloway • Glenn Miller
The Glenn Miller Orchestra • During the years 1938 through 1941, The Glenn Miller Orchestra was the most popular band in the United States.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra • Led by bandleader Alton Glenn Miller, the band included many swing greats such as: • Tex Beneke • Jimmy Henderson • Henry Mancini
The song “In the Mood”, which topped the charts in 1940, is now one of the best-known arrangements of the big band era. The piece was first recorded by bandleader Wingy Manone in 1929 and 1930. Miller’s band, however, was the one that made this song so popular. In the Mood
In the Mood Soloists include two tenor saxes with opposing parts and a 16 measure trumpet solo. • The saxophone section begins the piece with a soli. This part is very well-known. • Next the trumpets and trombones are added in bar 4.
Question # 1 • Name at least 3 bandleaders that were part of the Big Band Swing Era.
Answer #1 • Your list could include: • Benny Goodman • The Dorsey Brothers • Count Basie • Duke Ellington • Woody Herman • Cab Calloway • Glenn Miller
Question #2 • Swing music is characterized by: • A loud, fast-moving wind section • A strong rhythm section • “swung” eighth notes • All of the above • None of the above
Question #3 • In swing music, how would the following rhythm be played? Notate the rhythm as it would sound. Then sing the rhythm using proper accents.
Question #4 • In swing music, what part of the beat is emphasized or accented? • The downbeat • The upbeat or the “and” of the beat • All downbeats and upbeats • Only the first downbeat of every measure
Answer #4 • The upbeat or the “and” of the beat is always emphasized in swing music.
Question #5 • Which of these bandleaders was famous for popularizing “In the Mood”? • Cab Calloway • Count Basie • Glenn Miller • Benny Goodman
Answer #5 • C) Glenn Miller and the Glenn Miller Orchestra
References • Shenkle, Kathryn. Historical Information: Glenn Miller. Nov. 4, 2007, from http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/text/glenn_miller_text.html.. • Swing Era Photos. Nov. 4, 2007, from http://www.swingmusic.net/Swing_Era_Pics.html. • Wikipedia. (Nov. 4, 2007). In the Mood. Nov. 5, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=In_the_Mood&printable=yes. • Wikipedia. (Oct. 31, 2007). Swing Music. Nov. 4, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Swing_music&printable=yes