question for musicians and historians

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question for musicians and historians

#1 Post by CafeSavoy » Fri Nov 22, 2002 2:04 am

is this true?
jpowell wrote:
Music lesson time:
Actually, Lindy was originally danced to "big band" music, not swing music. Swing music is a form of jazz music which "swings the beat" (or just "swings" for short) or in other words, the traditional 8th note subdivisions of a beat are replaced with the first and third note of a triplet (loosely felt -- it doesn't have to be an exact triplet), giving the song a more relaxed and lazy feeling. This can most prominently be heard in the drumbeat but it can also be manifest by the expression of the other players and can be heard from time to time in the notes that they play (esp. during solos).

The classic big band music to which Lindy was originally danced almost always uses straight 8th notes and does not "swing". Swing music (in its various forms) did not become popular until later.

Also, many swing dancers today (in all forms but especially Lindy) like to use boogie songs which generally use straight 8ths in the beat and do not "swing". I have no problem with this since the "swing" in "swing dancing" should be manifest in the dancer but doesn't necessarily have to be plainly audible in the music, so long as the music creates an atmosphere in which we can still feel good while dancing with a swing feeling to it (a.k.a. use a "rolling count" -- that is the dancers' word for "swinging the beat"). Boogie songs are great for that... so are a lot of Britney Spears songs -- it just depends how you use them when you dance. They are not "swing music" at all, but you still can "swing" to them.

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Question for musicians and historians

#2 Post by Downeastdancer » Fri Nov 22, 2002 7:15 am

I'm not a musician, but it seems to me that there are a lot of boogie woogie songs on my Lionel Hampton CDs. AMG has an interesting writeup on boogie-woogie. (Note: you have to put the hyphen in there to get to the right page.) Hey Jesse - I don't know how to make these display as links on this forum reply posting box - well maybe it will happen automatically.

Here are a couple of short articles about boogie woogie history: ... ?StyleID=5


and here is an interesting link on boogie woogie from a swing dancer
"Take A Train!"

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#3 Post by main_stem » Fri Nov 22, 2002 9:45 am

Who ever wrote that is seriously off base. One of the big ditinctions of the
swing era/big band era fo jazz and it's predesessor is the constant use of
swinging 8th note patterns by musicians. It's like a tied triplet but not as
long on the first note. There is actually no musical notation for this and it was up to teh musicians to swing it. You could play it straight, which was the case in classical music for example, or you could swing it. This use of swinging 8th note patern is one of the big factors of that distinquishes swinging jazz from music with swing feel.

Granted not all big bands were swing bands and not all swing bands were big bands, John Kirby for one. This time period just represents what was the popular music at the time and also the most popular time for Jazz in it's longhistory.

Mark Gridley and David Cutler do a better job of explaining this in their book Jazz Styles: History and Analysis. You should pick it up if. It's very
informative and breaks down the diffences in teh styles of jazz but also what seperates jazz from other forms of music

Again who ever wrote the article in question is way off base. It's obvious they have an agenda; any type of music that you can dance too is swing music, including Britney. Obviously the person does not know what swing is in a jazz sence or the history of the music.


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#4 Post by funkyfreak » Tue Nov 26, 2002 11:12 pm

main_stem wrote:Mark Gridley and David Cutler do a better job of explaining this in their book Jazz Styles: History and Analysis. You should pick it up if. It's very informative and breaks down the diffences in teh styles of jazz but also what seperates jazz from other forms of music
A wonderful book, heavily suggested. It's been around a long time, and for a reason.


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#5 Post by Lawrence » Mon Dec 09, 2002 2:47 pm

Whoever wrote the original clip is pretending to know music better than he does: using terms that go beyond his actual comprehension. In musical terms, he has a very narrow rhythmic interpretation of what "swing music" is that goes against what most people understand "Swing Music" to be. It might make sense as a definition of "Swing RHYTHM" to a Jazz Music college professor who almost exclusively plays Bebop, but not as "Swing MUSIC."

Big Band Swing music from the Swing Era is the archtype of swing music. The reason you cannot hear the "triplets" to which he refers in early Big Band music is often because of the poor quality of the recordings, not what the musicians were playing.

As I understand it, rhythmic "triplets" in musical terms are manifested by the "triple-steps" in either a swing-out or a basic 6-count East Coast Swing. Thus, "Triplets" (namely, "triple-steps") are absolutely an essential part of Lindy Hop and Lindy Hop music.
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