Swing music and its history


The name swing was in the past age used to describe a type of jazz music but it later became identical to the dances that played to the music. The roots of swing lay in the earlier forms of jazz music particularly the African-American styles of performance.

The birth of swing music occurred during the great depression years. It might have been born at a specific place and distinct time, with an electrifying show by a particular band for a precise exuberant audience. This location and time was the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, CA, on August 21, 1935. Benny Goodman and his band ardently opened the swing era with an energetic performance with thousands of fans in the live audience and millions listening to a live radio broadcast.

By the time World War II began, the swing was very popular. However, the war marked the end of big bands, and the popularity of swing music fell sharply. In the 1950s, a new generation discovered swing but, it was danced to a new harsh of sounds of the electric guitar. With the twist introduction in 1960, swing dance nearly disappeared from popular culture. In the 1980s, due to nostalgia and increased interests by musicians in the jazz’s swing styles, swing dance re-emerged in the popular culture.

Since its origin, swing has been an evolutional music. Today, swing music is out of the protective arms of the ballroom community and back to the streets. People are expecting more evolution and improvising as hip-hop meets Lindy hop. However, the present swing moves have reminded everyone that swing is not just music and dance, but an attitude.

Initially used to describe jazz music, the swing later became synonymous with the music’s dancing style. The birth of swing occurred in the 1930s and dominated to the 1940s just before the WW II. This evolutional music was revived in the 1950s, disappeared in the 60s, and later on re-emerged in the 80s.