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Swing and Bebop Comparison (Term Paper Sample)


the instructions given were that the students should research two types of jazz music from different eras. the students were required to write a paper on the origin of the two subgenres, some of the similariteis and differences between the two. examples of each of the subgenres mentioned were required.


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Swing and Bebop Comparison
Music is an art that has existed for centuries. One of the main reasons why music is a common part of life is that it is used to express emissions among people; this is the reason why there are many types of songs. There are songs for each occasion and emotion a person can have. One of the many genres is Jazz. Jazz music was developed by the black community in the United States of America during the slavery period. Jazz was a way to console each other and help boost their morale during trying times. After the end of slavery, Jazz continued to be a giant in the music industries with several new variants of the genre being developed over the years. Two of the most common variants that have developed over the years are Swing and Bebop. The two have several similarities such as instruments used and that they are both jazz music, and differences such as technique when they were developed and the process leading to their development helping to distinguish between the two.
As mentioned, Swing is a form of Jazz. Swing music also originated from the United States of America in the early twentieth century. When the sub-genre was developed, it got its name from its characteristics compared to their forms of Jazz. The emphasis Swing music makes on off-beats and the introduction of the weaker pulse are the main reason for the name Swing music (Schuller 5). When listening to jazz, a person can differentiate Swing from other types by noticing that the soloists singing in a Swing band improvise more on melodies compared to the arrangement. One other characteristic of Swing music is that Swing music, like many other Jazz music subgenres, is a very danceable genre. The bands involved produce music that people can enjoy dancing compared to listening to the band play.
Bebop is another subgenre in Jazz music. The subgenre also originated from the United States of America in the mid-twentieth century. The subgenre was developed by the younger generation in the music industry who wanted something more communicative compared to other subgenres. Some of its most recognizable characteristics include that the genre incorporated well-thought-out and organized harmony and rhythms (Owens, 4). The harmony and rhythms make Bebop music to be appealing to listeners more than people who want to dance to the music.
Techniques Applied
Jazz is the parent genre for both Swing and Bebop music. As a result, there are several similarities between the two subgenres. Some of the similarities in the technique used include the use of sequence in the music. The sequence is mainly a pattern where the music is played using the same melodic and intervallic structures but applied in various degrees of scale. The second is the use of arpeggio. Arpeggion means that the notes from chords can be played independently, one note at a time. The third technique applied is the use of scalar; this is where melodies are improvised but within the scale.
The two types of Jazz use different techniques. Swing music lengthens and shortens the first two notes when playing a two-part pulse division in a beat. The second technique utilized is that the pulse through the entire song is divided unequally; this is brought up by the fact that the eighth and the sixteenth sub visions alternate along with long and short durations (Schuller, 35). The other technique applied is the use of note inegales in the analogous; this means that the notes utilized are not equal. The ratios between the first and the second notes applied in Swing music can also take vary in their magnitudes, while the first note is usually twice as long compared to the second note. On the other hand, Bebop music is quite different. The artist can utilize a fast tempo in their songs while still applying advanced harmony and complex syncopation. The other thing is that the chords are altered, extended, and substituted. The other technique applied by Bebop artists is the use of asythmmetical phrasing and intricate melodies while singing (Owens, 13). The rhythm sections are extended compared to other forms of Jazz. The similarity between
Similarities and Differences in Instrumentation
Both Swing and Bebop use bands and various musical instruments. The two subgenres are both jazz music, meaning they utilize similar musical instruments but are applied differently. In Jazz, bands are divided into several sections, the first being the rhythm section. Instruments used in the rhythm section include pianos, bass, and drums. These instruments were the main source of rhythm in Jazz music. The second instrument utilized is the brass section. The brass section is the second section in a jazz band. Instruments utilized in this section include trumpets and trombones. The third section is the wind section mainly made up of instruments requiring breath. The wind section required instruments such as saxophones and clarinets. The fourth section completes a jazz band in the trombone section. Although these are the four main sections in a jazz band, Swing music occasionally had one additional section to the number of sections making up the band. The additional section added was a string section which included violins and guitars.
Similarities and Differences in Performance Practices
Swing and Bebop might be two different types of music, but they have several similar performance practices. The first characteristic is improvisation. The artists in both subgenres have the freedom to improvise during specific parts of their performance. The second similarity is the ability to make use of bent notes in the performance. The third is the use of distinctive voices in the performance. The soloist must be able to use distinctive voices. The fourth similarity is that both Swing and Bebop used an ensemble in the band. The ensemble-based style meant that the soloist had support making the songs better to listen to for the public.
Although the two types of music are both Jazz and use similar instruments, there are more difference compared to similarities in their performance. Swing music is made to be smooth and easy to listen to. The simplicity in the music combined with simple chords and clear homophonic texture is one of the reasons why Swing music is easier to dance to compared to Bebop music. The melody is also clear and memorable meaning that people could easily sing along while enjoying the rhythm and strong dance groove. On the other hand, Bebop music is played from a composition referred to as the head, which is accompanied by rhythm sections. The next part of a Bebop performance is the solo part where the artist improvises a performance before the music returns to melodies. One similarity is that both Swing and Bebop music make use of ensembles.
Historical Context
Swing and Bebop developed at different times and eras in the world. The first to be developed was Swing. Swing developed, or had its origin in the nineteen twenties. The development was brought about by the development of dance orchestra and jazz music. The combination made was a huge success after people witnessed a show by Fletcher Henderson. Before the show, the development of dance orchestra and jazz music started impacting the type of bands that existed. Before nineteen thirty, jazz bands had few members. But the number started growing after nineteen thirty. In nineteen thirty-five, at Goodman’s Orchestra, white dancers graced the stage dancing to Swing music, which sparked the beginning of the Swing Era that lasted for eleven years. From the twenty-second of August nineteen thirty-five to nineteen forty-six. The decline of Swing music was brought about by the development of other subgenres such as Bebop. After the success of Swing music, trends such as artists becoming the star of the show and changing rhythms were some of the reasons that Bebop was developed (Owens 8). Bebop developed at the end of Swing music, meaning the Bebop rose to popularity during the mid-nineteen fifties.
Social Context
There are several social impacts that both Swing and Bebop music had on society. The first was the influence on culture. Many of the people when the two were mainstream were influenced to live, love, and enjoy things by the music. Through the influence, they impact the culture around people. Jazz is one of the most cultural forms of music in the world considering its origin. The cultural roots from jazz mean that both Swing and Bebop music have to be representatives of the culture among the community.
Each of the two subgenres had different social impacts on society. Some of the impacts include that Swing music rose to popularity due to the joyous emotion it brought. Due to this, major corporations used Swing jazz music promoting their products. Hollywood is one of the many ways Swing music was applied. Many movies and shows produced during the Swing era had a Swing Jazz song as the theme song. The second way Swing music impacted society is through providing entertainment for the population. Many people loved to listen and dance to Swing music. The entertainment provides another social impact where Swing music provided a source of escape for people. Swing music was the music to listen to when you are low and need something to change your mood. Bebop music on the other hand was more of listening music. Since musicians had been given a voice to air out what they needed to say, most of the music was about personal and social communication. Musicians used their newly found voice to talk about issues affecting society, meaning that Bebop was used to advocate and inform the masses.
Relative Popularity
Swing and Bebop had a great following in the Jazz community. The two mu...

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