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Author Topic: Differences between swing and bebop  (Read 42821 times)
Afficionado (5 points)
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« on: May 27, 2010, 06:52:06 am »

I know that bebop and swing are very familiar, but sometimes as I listen to both of them I get confused. I know that bebop is a lot faster and has more of an improvised sound. But swing sometimes sounds the same, is there a distinctive characteristic that separates these two?
Afficionado (5 points)
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2010, 09:06:01 am »

Based on what Professor Wuttke mentioned in class about the differences between swing & bebop, Bebop melodies were more complex style and the tempo was a lot faster with a drummer keeping time which I would find that harder to dance. Swing had the "Big Band" with saxophone solos and the trading 4s, even though both of these style had virtuosity, Swing had the noticeable drum set with the hi-hat.

I hope I got that right.

Linda Alvarez
Brian C. Wuttke
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2010, 01:59:49 pm »

According to the Gridley text, there are 3 main characteristics: 1) Instrumentation - swing era featured the big band while bebop emphasized the combo, 2) tempo of Bebop tended to be faster and 3) stylistic differences. Of the 3, stylistic differences are perhaps the most easily recognizable. Bebop features more complex harmonies and more ornate melodies than swing. The element of surprise was highly valued in Bebop as well as the idea of incorporating melodies from familiar songs into the improvisation. Finally, a major clue is that the tripletized swing pattern moved from the hi-hat to the ride cymbal. REMEMBER: these are generalizations and there are always exceptions to every "rule."

By the way, Linda brings up a good point that should also be considered in terms of the function of the music. Swing was meant fo dancing whereas the danceability of Bebop is questionable.

I taught it, but did they learn?
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2010, 08:33:34 pm »

Same thing happened to me. I think I'm not an auditory learner so listening to this song confused me a lot, but at the same time it has help me increase that skill putting it to practice.
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