Learn About Swing Music for Weddings
Live swing orchestras have become increasingly popular for wedding ceremonies and receptions in the last few years. This is due in part to the fact that many brides envision a wedding day with a touch of Old Hollywood class. Without a doubt, the best compliment to a vintage wedding is live swing music.
Swing music was the most popular form of music from the mid-1930′s until well after the American involvement in World War II. It also experienced a revival in the late-1990′s with bands like the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, the Squirrel Nut Zippers and the Brian Setzer Orchestra. This was due, in part, to films such as Swing Kids and Swingers.
Although swing music may not be as popular as it once was in mainstream culture, it is still an excellent choice for wedding ceremonies, receptions and other events which require timeless, fun and exciting music. In fact, one of the best parts about having swing music at an event is the fact that classic swing songs can be played alongside swing revival music, allowing for the enjoyment of both younger and older audience members.
Popular bandleaders of this time included Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Chick Webb, The Dorsey Brothers, Duke Ellington, Earl Hines, Fletcher Henderson, Gene Krupa, Glenn Miller, Gloria Parker, Harry James, Louis Prima, Leo Mathisen and Shep Fields.
Chart-topping swing tunes of this era include:
Typically, swing music of the mid-1930′s featured a strong, anchoring rhythm section which supported loosely tied wind and brass instruments. Closer to the 1940s, string or vocals sections were added. Eventually, swing’s popularity was eclipsed by the pop singers and crooners. Many of the popular singers who came about in this time originated in the swing era. For example, the Dorsey Brothers launched the career of Frank Sinatra. Swing’s popularity waned as World War II progressed, due to the fact many of the musicians were overseas fighting the war and the economic hardship of funding and touring with such large bands during wartime.
Fortunately for this lively, fun style of music, a revival was seen in the late-1990′s. From 1997 to 2001, the swing revival was led by bands like the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the Royal Crown Revue and the Brian Setzer Orchestra, among others. Swing dancing was also revived and combined the 1930′s dance styles with those from the 1990′s and 2000′s. In 2001, British pop singer Robbie Williams released a popular swing cover album entitled, “Swing When You’re Winning”, which sold 7 million copies worldwide.
Swing orchestras typically feature the clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, double bass and drums, among other instruments. Swing music features a lead section typically composed of brass instruments like trumpets and trombones which is supported by a strong rhythm section. Swing often has medium to fast tempos and a “lilting” swing time rhythm. Swing bands typically feature soloists who improvise a new melody over an existing arrangement.
( Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:15 pm )
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“Your musicians were very professional, flexible and punctual when coordinating my client’s wedding with me. They exceeded my expectations and I couldn’t wait to book them again for the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club’s Members Event. I wanted the members to hear what a great band and what an energetic, passionate group of musicians they were. I can’t wait to hire them again for another event!”
—Ariana, Polo Clubhouse Manager, Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club