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Swingin in the 1930s A decade innovative music Thesis Music of the 1930s took an interesting ride with swing It was not only a musical pastime but a way of life those who brought it to us will live on forever Towards the beginning of the 1930s the nation was grasped by the effects of a Great Depression The economy was on hold but the music was not As the 1930s began to take shape they gave birth to a new era of music The melancholy sound of the early years of the Depression had left people in search of something revitalizing Around 1931 the Black bands led by such greats as Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson began to develop the Swing style which would not formally appear for another two years Simply put they began to change the make-up of the band and the time of the pieces For example Ellington and Henderson were both responsible for transforming the rhythm section piano bass drums guitar Until then the rhythm section consisted of a piano tuba banjo and drums Ellington and Henderson took out the tuba and banjo and added a string base to the ensemble With later advances in technology the guitar was added to replace the banjo In regards to time the two leaders evened things out by taking the march time of 24 and added a more laid back steady 44 time Erenberg 29 In addition to the change of the concept of the rhythm section and the meter time the role of the bandleader himself became the foundation for which he would select his ensemble As with all bands orchestras and chamber ensembles a conductor is always a necessary commodity The big bands as the swinging bands were named were previously led by a conductor of sorts Taking a step towards the age of swing the bandleaders became known for their instrumental abilities
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