Big Band

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Big Band is a type of musical ensemble associated with Jazz which grew during the era of Swing, this was around the early 1930s and the late 1940s.

A big band usually consists of around 12 to 25 musicians and is made up of all sorts of brass instruments, including;- saxophones, trumpets, trombones, as well as a rhythm section.

The terms jazz band, jazz ensemble, stage band, jazz orchestra, and dance band are also used to refer to this type of ensemble, although Jazz isn't strictly correct, Jazz has a strong element of improvisation, whereas "Big Band" is much more regimented and probably more akin to a Classical orchestra than a Jazz band.

There are two distinct periods in history for Big Band music becoming popular, the main period being;- the mid-1920s, Big Bands, came to dominate popular music, at that time they usually played a sweet form of Jazz inspired music, which included a string section with violins, this dropped from popularity after the introduction of Swing in the mid 1930s. This style of jazz was characterised by a romantic melody, with orchestras tending to stick to the melody as it was written and vocals generally sung in a tenor voice.