Big Bands to Boy Bands

Popular Music Then and Now

Big Bands - a Brief Definition

The average Big Band holds anywhere from ten to thirty musicians, and usually is composed of two horn sections, which includes saxophones, trumpets, and trombones. Drums, acoustic guitar, acoustic or electric bass, and piano keep the beat in the rhythm section. As the popularity of Big Bands grew, so did the eras which defined the music. From the scientific age to the Jazz and Swing eras, people have loved the music that created hope in people's life's. Not only did the eras of Big Bands change, but also the famous band leaders of the time. Starting first with Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Jimmie Lunceford, Glen Gray and Chick Web. Later led by Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, and Benny Goodman. Unfortunately, the Big Band era seemed too good to last. As World War Two came to an end in the 1940s, Big Bands began to rapidly decline in popularity. Even now, the music first created by the legendary Big Band leaders holds sincere places in people's hearts.

Similarities between Big bands and boy bands

Wind, string, and percussion instruments next to vocals, key boards and electric guitars. What could they have in common? Or, in other words, how are Big Bands and boy bands alike? There are several big ways that these different groups create similar feelings and songs for their fans.

First, is the genre of both Big Bands and boy bands. Though now considered jazz, Big Band music used to be considered pop by the people of that era. Now we look to boy bands for pop music, just like people used to look at Big Bands for exciting new pop songs. These similarities in the genres of Big Bands and boy bands are just one of the ways that these musical groups are similar.

Second, is the variety of musical instruments in both groups. Big Bands usually consist of saxophones, trombones, trumpets, drums, acoustic guitar, acoustic or electric bass, and piano. Boy bands usually consist of electric guitar, drums, keyboard, and vocals. Though Big Bands have a larger variety of instruments, boy bands also have the different instruments that add to their performance by creating different tones, harmonys, melodys, and capturing crowds hearts.

Third, and the last similarity I will mention, is the gender of the two groups. During World War Two, men who had been drafted in the army and men outside of the army formed Big Bands. For unknown reasons, is was very uncommon for a woman to be in a Big Band, whether inside or outside the army. The same is true for boy bands now, though, not many are found in the army. The name implies that their are no female musicians in boy bands.

It is for theses reasons that I find Big Bands and boy bands similar.

Differences between big bands and boy bands

Though Big Bands and boy bands have many similarities, they also have many differences.

First, is the complexity of the songs written by each group. Big Bands were known for their complexity of music, creating parts for saxophones, trombones, trumpets, drums, acoustic guitar, acoustic or electric bass, piano, and vocals. Boy Bands have less complicated songs, only needing parts for electric guitar , drum, keyboard, and vocals.

Second, is the size between a Big Band and a boy band. A Big Band consists of between 10-30 musicians, where a boy band has 4 or 5 musicians.

Lastly, is the popularity of these bands. Big Bands, as one of the only forms of entertainment in the 1900s, was hugely popular. Now, as there are so many different forms of entertainment, boy bands are fairly less popular than Big Bands.

These are the different reasons that Big Bands and boy bands are different.

Famous Boy Bands

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One Direction-a popular boy band.
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5 seconds of Summer - another popular boy band.

Popular Big Bands

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Famous band leaders, including Glenn Miller.
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More famous Big Band leaders, including Duke Ellington.

Big Band Video

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Benny Goodman vs. Glenn Miller. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.

"Big Bands." Wikipedia. N.p., 2001. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.

Compton's Encyclopedia. N.p.: Success Group, 2001. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.

Taylor, Dr. Billy. American Big Bands. New York, New York: Hal Lenard Corporations, 2005. Web. 12 Jan. 2016.

Weinstock, Len. "The Big Band Era." Red Hot Jazz. Jazz Is Timeless Records, 1991. Web. 21 Jan. 2016.