Big Band/Swing Discussion 1. After completing your writing assignment, share some of your thoughts on the popularity of swing in America. Why do you think this music has had such an impact on culture in the 1940s? Are there any other factors outside of the musical world that had an impact on its influence? 2. Respond to the following two classmate posts – brief 4-5 sentences/50-60 words. a. The popularity of swing in America is due to many factors. I think the most important aspect was the need for community and for some good times. The great depression and WWII wreaked havoc on the american citizen and they needed a good time, and swing music is definitely a good time. Along with the need to get out and socialize Americans had a strong sense of community at the time from both propaganda, and extreme loss, probably making the predictable and grandiose swing bands a comforting source of entertainment. Social change, at least in the northern states, made it more acceptable for America’s youth to listen to music and be in the same clubs as people not of their own race. Along with the social climate of the time, recording was becoming simultaneously better and cheaper, meaning that high quality recordings and players could be purchased. Since there was more music in circulation, people were exposed to different sounds from across the country, and this led to bigger and better bands being put together to get ahead in the music industry. b. I believe the reason swing music was so popular in the 1940’s was due to the heavy impact of the times, both in the U.S. and across the globe. The 1940’s of America where first marred by the Great Depression, and then by World War II. These two tragic events in history would shape the country and the world at large, through the incredible cultural change they would enforce. Swing music during this time would rise in popularity due to its economical advantage. Due to America’s Depression the country would be forced to take on a more teamwork oriented stance which would mold how bands were arranged. Because of how organized and formalized swing was, it would fit perfectly into the teamwork oriented culture at the time. Teens would pick up on the music turning it into a phenomenon and craze. The swing fad would affect more than just music for these teens, as it would effect fashion and even speech with new slang. Arrangers and band leaders at the time would leave their mark by creating unique sounds for their bands to make them stand out and recognizable. With the growing popularity of both radio technology as well as movies of the time, bandleaders and their bands would take on a celebrity status not previously seen. Swing would lodge itself into the heart of Americans by providing easily recognizable music that was easy to dance to, further spreading the craze among the teenagers of the ear.