Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Swing Band. Jazz Band. Stage Band.Big Band.

Is it just the stye of the music that makes the difference? or do they each imply the same thing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
349 Posts
Pretty sure Big Band just defines the makeup of the group in size and instrumentation (usually at minimum 5 saxes, 4-5 trumpets, 4-5 trombones, and a rhythm section consisting of piano, bass, and drums) and very little about the style of music. Big Bands can play swing, latin, funk, fusion, etc.
 

·
The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum
Joined
·
27,650 Posts
In and of itself, there is no difference, just different names given mainly because of context not content.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,031 Posts
Which name you call that type of band tells everyone how old you are. :)

Let me break that down for you "youngsters" reading this thread.

- When I was in high school 1962 - 1966 I played in a "stage band" and the band director when asking who wanted to play a solo said, "Who want's to take a ride?"

- At the university I attended, I was accepted into the "dance band" called "The Scotsmen" (dance bands all had names back them)

- By the time I graduated in 1970 it came to be called a "jazz ensemble" and we played music from the "big bands" like Basie and Ellington not necessarily for dancing.

- Now that I am an old fart I play bari sax in a "small big band" that bills itself as a "swing band" so as not to turn off folks who don't particularly like "jazz music" but love Glenn Miller.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,611 Posts
Swing Band. Jazz Band. Stage Band.Big Band.

Is it just the stye of the music that makes the difference? or do they each imply the same thing?
To me, big band refers to a particular configuration of instruments: usually 5 saxes, four 'bones, four trumpets, and rhythm--or some relatively minor variation on that (ie, you might have only two trombones, or you might have 4 or 6 saxes, but something close to that). Swing band or jazz band could be almost any configuration of instruments and almost any size group, although groups of four or less are often going to be called a jazz duo or trio or quartet. A swing band would be expected to focus on swing era music, a jazz band would be more diverse. I don't know about "stage band": is that like "concert band"? I've heard "concert band" used for large ensembles that are like big bands in instrumentation and size but which play classical, pop, movie themes, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,442 Posts
Maybe a stage band has an actual stage to perform on.
I played in a stage band that really was a pit band on stage.
There were dancers and singers also on the stage.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,953 Posts
Big band = band with 5 saxophones, 4/5 trumpets, 4/5 trombones + rhythm section. Genres include jazz, swing, funk, rock.
Jazz band = any band that plays jazz
Swing band = big band (see above) that just played/plays swing music (includes many bands of the 30s/40s e.g. Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway)
Stage Band. Not sure exactly but I think it can be a big band that is augmented by other instruments (e.g. flutes, french horns, strings) and plays on a stage.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,952 Posts
+1 Pete
Interesting subject. According to this site. Swing is actually the dance preformed to jazz music.
http://www.differencebetween.net/mi...ifferences-between-east-and-west-coast-swing/

Difference in Usage of Music Instruments for Band and Orchestra
A “band” includes brass, percussion, and woodwinds along with flutes, clarinets, and trumpets.
An “orchestra” is composed of different string instruments like violins, basses, and violas.
http://www.differencebetween.net/mi...s/difference-between-an-orchestra-and-a-band/

Seems the use of names pertains to presentation choice. Stage,Big Band,Swing Band And Jazz.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
Swing Band. Jazz Band. Stage Band.Big Band.

Is it just the stye of the music that makes the difference? or do they each imply the same thing?
Waaaayyy back when I was in school, Stage Band was the term used for the HS Jazz Band. I believe that was the official name of the class that showed up on my schedule and report card. Basically it was a large ensemble (18+ members) that played arranged music from all different eras and styles, the main characteristic being it was LOUD :) I believe the name derived from the fact it was a performance band that would, yes, play on a stage for an audience.

Big Band is a term that originated back in the "Swing" era for the professional dance bands that were lead by bandleaders like Goodman, Miller, the Dorseys, etc that were famous enough and could afford to hire a large number of "side men". This eventually settled into a fairly standard 17 piece configuration, and if you were a "name" bandleader you would be expected to field a "big band". With groups this large, the music was primarily arranged, with improv sections for the star soloists to show off. This configuration lives on in the school Jazz Band and a few touring bands and show bands like the Tonight Show Band and many of your Vegas hotel house bands.

Swing Band is a term for a band, likely in "big band" configuration that plays music from the "Swing era". This is music primarily intended for live dancing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
I play in a "Big Band". My teacher plays in a "Swing Band". The lineup in both bands is the same and a lot of the repertoire is the same, but he says that the Swing Band band mainly plays dance music for swing dancers.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
Joined
·
7,136 Posts
Waaaayyy back when I was in school, Stage Band was the term used for the HS Jazz Band. I believe that was the official name of the class that showed up on my schedule and report card...
that is my experience too. In fact, I have never seen the term stage band used except in an educational or school setting.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
15,979 Posts
that is my experience too. In fact, I have never seen the term stage band used except in an educational or school setting.
My experience as well in high school in the early to mid-60s.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top