Difference between Jazz and Swing

Music is a universal language and hardly anyone in this world can deny this fact. It is a form of art in which sound and silence is the medium of communication. The most important elements of music are rhythm, melody, pitch and sonic qualities. Almost every region in this world has its own style of music and these genres are the results of hundreds years of evolution.

Music can be considered as part of performing art but different cultures have different definition of music. It can be divided into different genres and sub genres. It ranges from traditional to improvisational forms.

Jazz and Swing music are the prime examples of music genres that have gained popularity despite having a short history. Though, the dividing lines between these genres are subtle but still there are few differences that make them different in nature.

Jazz music has African-American roots whereas Swing is a transformed form of American music. Jazz refers to the genre as whole while Swing can be called a sub-genre of this form of music. In Swing music, a strong rhythm is required whereas Jazz music has more subtle feel.

Jazz music has incorporated different regional, local and national music elements whereas Swing has not shown the enough flexibility for such improvisations. Moreover, the improvisation is considered as the key element of Jazz music.

Swing is considered as dance music because of its overall feel whereas Jazz music has no such limits. Unlike its main genre, Swing prefers to have an off-beat or weaker pulse in music and this also differentiate this sub-genre from Jazz music. Moreover, it also has more groove as compared to Jazz music.

Related: Difference between Jazz and Contemporary


  • 1

    Jazz Music:

    This style of music was created in the beginning of 20th century from African-American music. As the time passed, it included lot of other musical elements and became a widely loved genre. Now this style of music has become so popular that almost every region added something in this style and made a sub-genre. Soul Jazz, Hard Bop, Latin Jazz, Cool Jazz, Free Jazz, European Jazz are the few examples of its sub-genres. This huge number of sub-genres proves that it has earned a respectable position across the globe.

    Related: Difference between Jazz and Ballet

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    Well, the name says it all. This music style has been derived from Jazz music and it is widely considered as dance music. Due to its vibrant feel, Swing music has made a huge fan following all over the world in a short span of time.

    Related: How to Dance Balboa Swing

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