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Thread: The Definition of Swing Music

  1. #41
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    Re: The Definition of Swing Music

    [QUOTE=straycat;588744]It was a tongue-in-cheek comment, but I suppose it was a bit cryptic. Here's a not-so-tongue-in-cheek answer.

    Soapbox time
    As we all know, WCS was originally derived from Lindy, and was once upon a time danced to swing music - but no longer. However, it is still called West Coast Swing. Most will ask 'So What?'

    More than this, many have adopted the term 'swing' to apply purely to WCS - hence you have events like ... say the Austin Swing Dance Championships, with a menu of pure WCS - no other (real) swing dances in sight. From where I'm standing, this seems like an odd misnomer. Stranger still, there's the likes of the Global Swing Deejays website... where they list top 'swing songs'... but there's no actual swing music in sight. So we have Swing DJs who don't play swing, and Swing music that isn't (and doesn't). As a lover of swing, and as a swing DJ who does actually play swing, I find all this a tad odd. Not to mention a tad irritating. {end quote)





    For what it's worth there are Lindy DJs - and others - who are members of the Global Swing Deejays group who would strongly agree with your point about swing music that doesn't swing.

    Myself I'd argue that if you dance a swing dance to it, then it's swing music whatever it is ... or does.

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    Re: The Definition of Swing Music

    Quote Originally Posted by nomoves View Post
    Myself I'd argue that if you dance a swing dance to it, then it's swing music whatever it is ... or does.
    So, as there are a large group of people Swing dancing to Soul & Funk music (apparently ), by your reckoning does that mean that Soul & Funk music is Swing music?

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    Re: The Definition of Swing Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Gav View Post
    So, as there are a large group of people Swing dancing to Soul & Funk music (apparently ), by your reckoning does that mean that Soul & Funk music is Swing music?
    I reckon so (If you give me a while, I'll think of a non-musical comparison for why this is logical too )

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    Re: The Definition of Swing Music

    ... also correct me if i'm wrong but soul and funk evolved from something you'd agree was swing music, much as west coast swing evolved from lindy

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    Re: The Definition of Swing Music

    Quote Originally Posted by nomoves View Post
    ... also correct me if i'm wrong but soul and funk evolved from something you'd agree was swing music.
    I'll have to take your word for that.

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    Re: The Definition of Swing Music

    Quote Originally Posted by nomoves View Post
    ... also correct me if i'm wrong but soul and funk evolved from something you'd agree was swing music
    Quite possibly (I wouldn't know, but I wouldn't be surprised), but so did RnR and bebop, and neither of those is swing.

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    Re: The Definition of Swing Music

    Quote Originally Posted by nomoves View Post

    Myself I'd argue that if you dance a swing dance to it, then it's swing music whatever it is ... or does.
    I'd argue that you are just dancing a swing dance to some music

    As an example, we recently went to an event where a Gypsy Swing band played a Bosanova. We realised that nobody really knows how to dance a Bosanova anymore (so we could do whatever we wanted!) but spotted that the rhythm and tempo worked rather well for Balboa, so that's what we did.

    So by your argument a Bosanova is swing because we were dancing a swing dance to it. But the truth is much simpler; we were dancing at Latin dance based on Balboa.

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    Re: The Definition of Swing Music

    Quote Originally Posted by nomoves View Post
    I reckon so (If you give me a while, I'll think of a non-musical comparison for why this is logical too )
    Let me give an example of why the distinction is important. As an organiser, if I want to engage a band to perform for a group of, say, Lindyhoppers, I want to be able to describe the music. If I can say "swing" to a band, and know that they have a similar understanding of it to myself, we're off to a good start. If, however, they're used to the Global Deejays way of looking at things, I don't have that point of reference to communicate with them.

    By the same token, someone of that Global Deejays mindset could tell a band they want swing you can dance to, be told "No Problem", and end up with a 30s/40s swing set that they didn't want or expect.

    There's a perfectly valid (although hard to convey) set of musical definitions of 'swing' - I see no need to change that, and every reason not to.

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    Re: The Definition of Swing Music

    Quote Originally Posted by straycat View Post
    Quite possibly (I wouldn't know, but I wouldn't be surprised), but so did RnR and bebop, and neither of those is swing.
    Although I wasn't talking about RnR and bebop - I'd have to argue that if anyone does dance a swing dance to either (quite likely I'd have thought for R'n'R) then it's swing music too.

    But leaving aside the logical side of whether or not anything you dance swing to if by definition swing music, for me it's all about evolution.

    Rugby evolved from football and rugby union in this country is still run by the Rugby Football Union. Down under the Australian Football League runs organised punch-ups.

    Like football, swing is a very broad term, meaning different things at different times to different people.

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    Re: The Definition of Swing Music

    Quote Originally Posted by jim View Post
    What attitude do you think defines swing? For instance I've noticed there's something 'off the wall' and 'zany' about Lindy and charlston.
    I'm sure I'm about to give a completely inept description of the attitude that to me defines swing, but anyway... To me there's something flamboyant, about the expression of something repressed. Swing dances were first danced (I think! At least charleston and LJ were first danced) in the African American community, who were of course subject to a lot of discrimination at the time. When I'm dancing in (what I feel is) a swing style I'm putting a lot of energy into moving in a way that would seem exaggerated compared to most MJ. It's kind of going in the opposite direction from traditional to 'smooth' MJ.

    However...

    Quote Originally Posted by straycat View Post
    (I would say that you can't just abitrarily make up a definition for 'swing dancing' to fit your image of it)
    and I may be doing that, but for me that attitude difference is there, at least as a part of my experience of swing dance, even if it's not defining it.

    Quote Originally Posted by nomoves View Post
    Like football, swing is a very broad term, meaning different things at different times to different people.
    too

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    Re: The Definition of Swing Music

    My Tango teacher is found of saying tango is not a dance; it's a form of music, of which only 10% is for dancing too.

    But Tango is more than that, it's a state of mind which is induced by that music.

    I think dance familiy's must work like that.

    Salsa is a latin dance but the Salsa or latin family has Bachata and cha cha and Mergune. There is somthing latin about all that music, but the dances are very different.

    It seems to me it must be the same for swing, there must be a feeling or collection of emotions that are swing and resonate with swing dancers.

    I think Mj dancers resonate with Pop music wether it be rock'n'roll, motown or disco.

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    Re: The Definition of Swing Music

    Quote Originally Posted by jim View Post
    But Tango is more than that, it's a state of mind which is induced by that music.
    Yeah...I like that

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