From Big Band To GarageBand

From Big Band To GarageBand

What’s a big band? Popular music today relies heavily on technology. Whether it’s GarageBand to record the music, a program to produce beats with or digital turntables to mix the music, it’s safe to say that music today has significantly changed from the music that was being played when a big band vocalists were the Lady Gagas, Adelles and Drakes of the world. When big band music, music characterized by a horns section of typically three trumpets, four saxophones, two or more trombones and a rhythm section consisting of drums and some combination of piano, guitar and bass, America was still a teenager.

Growing Up With The Radio
Big Band was popularized in the Swing Era and its popularity had nothing to do with today’s popular culture. There were no commercials to spotlight on, no iTunes to preview a song with, no music videos, YouTube or social media—musicians were stars of the radio. The radio in the 1930’s was the only way to listen to music without going to a ballroom or large hotel to do some dancing. You’d listen to the radio in your living room if you were lucky enough to have one. Musicians played and big band vocalists became famous for their voices and the stories they told. Big band vocalists often took on the style of crooning. Crooning was the popular singing style that met its demise when the next big thing hit music—it was called rock and roll.

Fighting For Space In A Crowded Room
When big band music hit the radio, popular culture was still in its infancy. There was no vehicle for celebrities other than the newspaper. Until the radio came along, everything heard had to be live. Big band, swing, jazz—all variances on a style—carved out a space in America’s zeitgeist. Among today’s popular music, big band and jazz is still fighting, but it’s a different battle. With deft coolness, jazz strikes at today’s headlines and younger generations from swinging doors of bars, open windows of second story apartments and clever cuts from today’s most popular DJs. Jazz laid the foundation for today’s popular music and big band vocalists were a huge part of teaching the world how to listen to lyrics. And for these reasons and many more, swing music will always live on and be imitated and played by generations to come. And what’s most beautiful about this fact is that because it’s being imitated and based off an old paradigm, it’ll continue to grow and evolve, but in a classic and beautiful way structured by rules of a forgotten time and way of life.

Sb Resource Box: For more information about big band vocalists, contact Sylvia Brooks or visit at http://www.sylviabrooks.net/ .

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