Dance Music 40s

dance music 40s

If you want your guests to move at your next party, dance music will surely do just the trick! From birthday bashes and reunions, to casual social get-togethers with your pals – music that keeps everyone moving will guarantee the party experience will remain exciting and entertaining for all involved.

Big Band

In the 1940s, Big Band music became one of the most beloved genres in America. Comprised of an ensemble of 10 or more musicians who performed jazz music, this genre reigned for nearly two decades – inspiring dances and musical styles across America and around the globe.

Swing bands were driven to popularity by radio broadcasting. Following World War II and with record players now readily available, new markets opened up for these bands – particularly popular among young veterans returning from service with extra funds in their pockets.

Swing music was an upbeat style of music combining brass instruments and percussion instruments into danceable arrangements, making for easy listening. This genre was considered hippier even than jazz.

R&B music became one of the most beloved forms of expression due to its widespread appeal. Not only was it an excellent way to commemorate festive occasions like Halloween or Thanksgiving, but clubs across the country also saw its appeal and enjoyed it greatly.

Beginning in the 1920s and continuing through World War II, this period witnessed an economically prosperous time and witnessed many people living in large cities.

Large cities provided musicians a place to make a living as musicians made big band music popular in America during this era, giving rise to artists such as Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman making names for themselves in big band music.

At that time, a large number of bands would travel across the country to play for parties and other events. They would travel via bus and play dances at various locations all across America.

Many songs recorded at this time were heavily influenced by big band music, often referred to as “big band songs”.

Note that big band music wasn’t the only genre popular at this time; other forms of music like blues and rap also enjoyed great popularity at that point in history.


Foxtrot is an American ballroom dance that has its origins in 4/4 time music. This smooth and sensuous dance can easily be learned and followed; making it suitable for weddings or black tie events.

Foxtrot was first popularized in 1914 during a performance by vaudeville choreographer Harry Fox in New York City. While trotting to ragtime music during one of his shows, audiences quickly imitated this move and soon started copying “Fox’s Trot.” Almost instantly it became a craze and eventually earned itself its own name: Fox’s Trot.”

From its conception, foxtrot dancing has been heavily influenced by various dance forms. At first danced quickly to a quick tempo but now more slowly and seductive. One form of this style was heavily influenced by box step waltzing which also heavily influenced Waltz dancing.

The Foxtrot is most frequently performed to Big Band swing-style music; however, any type of music may be utilized as it has 120 to 136 beats per minute tempo.

Foxtrot dance was one of the most widely practiced forms during World War II and still practiced today, yet most people know little or nothing about its variations and are unaware of all their possible variations.

As soon as you begin learning a Foxtrot dance style, it is vital that you become acquainted with its basic steps and timing. Due to the vast variations within this type of dance and requiring precise timing for success, understanding these aspects early is paramount for success.

Gliding movements are also key in this dance style, helping couples remain in sync and avoid any mistakes on the dance floor.

Foxtrot is an excellent dance style for beginners or anyone who is looking to spice up their social dancing, being easy for both leaders and followers to lead and follow. Additionally, its popularity makes it suitable for a range of different people to enjoy this type of dancing.


Samba is a beloved musical genre and dance form from Brazil, boasting its unique sound influenced by various forms of music from all around the globe. Today it remains one of the most influential forms of dance music 40s.

Samba musicians utilize multiple instruments and sing catchy melodies that have made Samba music an immensely popular genre. There are numerous subgenres within Samba music that make up this style, which has gained immense popularity at Carnival parades worldwide.

Samba may have first emerged in Bahia, home of many Afro-Brazilian traditions. When slavery ended, former slaves relocated to Rio de Janeiro where they started playing and singing this form of music.

Today, Samba music has become one of the most renowned forms of Brazilian music, spreading worldwide. Influenced by other musical genres like salsa and polka, it continues to draw crowds everywhere it goes.

Samba music remains part of African heritage music despite having been heavily influenced by various other styles, as many musicians often utilize an ensemble with heavy percussion and steady, hypnotic rhythms when performing Samba.

Most samba songs feature 2/4 time signature, meaning there are two strong beats per bar with accented “offbeats”. Batucada rhythm is particularly well known as it conveys energy through danceable movement.

Samba music is composed and performed using an assortment of instruments such as pandeiros, tamborims, cavaquinhos and violaos – often tuned to major keys – tuned with palm of hand placed at center of instrument for snaps.

Samba music comes in many traditional forms; however, more contemporary forms like paulista samba rock samba breque have also gained in popularity over time.

Samba music has long been influenced by American jazz and pop music. Playing or recording other artists’ songs is common within these styles, leading to great collaboration and creativity within bands.

Samba music has long been associated with Carnival parades and has long been an integral component of their music, but another popular form is partido alto which features a highly percussive pandeiro beat accompanied by snaps on the palm of the hand. This type of samba is especially renowned in this context and has long been a beloved staple.


Jazz saw tremendous growth during the 1940s as its appeal expanded and evolved in response to new audiences and environments. Club scenes flourished and its music quickly became an integral part of society – this led to lucrative careers for musicians while fuelling an economic boost.

Jazz dance made its mark during this era, too. Although its roots lie within African tradition, its influence also included elements from other dance forms; such an amalgam of styles contributed to making jazz popular among audiences worldwide.

Authentic jazz dance is an improvisational and loose-limbed form that can be done either alone or with others, solo or partnered. You may dance during an unexpected stop-time break in the music or syncopate a riff through body movement and footwork rhythms.

Jazz dancers generally utilize hand movements for dancing, which gives them an intuitive understanding of rhythmic musical structures and allows them to respond swiftly and efficiently when responding to musical cues.

Buddy Bolden and Louis Armstrong played significant roles in shaping jazz as an art form during its early development, both being African American musicians who developed distinctive playing styles that became incredibly popular during the 1920s.

Jazz music is an amalgam of diverse musical traditions, encompassing West African and Caribbean rhythms, European classical instruments, and even forms of dance that incorporate into its compositions. Some jazz musicians even combine different dance forms into their compositions.

In the late 1940s, jazz began its rapid evolution as more musicians joined together and combined different musical styles into new subgenres such as bebop and Latin jazz.

Bebop jazz emerged during the early 1940s and is characterized by fast tempos and experimental elements, including featuring scat singers in its songs – hence its moniker.

Latin jazz evolved during the 1940s and combines Cuban and Spanish Caribbean beats with traditional jazz instruments and musical compositions to form a distinct form. It is typically performed by Afro-Caribbean and Latin American musicians.

In the 1940s, jazz was an essential component of popular culture and an effective means to earn income. But this all changed in the 1950s with rock ‘n’ roll becoming America’s most beloved genre; dancers began responding differently to jazz due to this shift; instead of following intricate structures or dynamic genres of bebop or free jazz music they often followed the trend instead.