The Evolution of American Music & Dance

Timeline created by allisunromain
  • Jazz & Blues

    Jazz & Blues
    Music in the Roaring Twenties was known best for its feature of jazz and blues. Offering a large variety of tunes to listen to, the music of the 1920’s is said to have originated from the African-American communities of New Orleans. With music featuring an abundance of air instruments such as the saxophone, trumpet, and trombone, people couldn’t help but style their dancing through the ‘foxtrot’ or the ‘toddle.’
  • Swing & Dance

    Swing & Dance
    Popular music in the 1930’s greatly exhibited songs people could swing and dance to. With the age of jazz coming to a close, a sweeter, syrupier sound defined the 1930’s, which many would describe as lighthearted and easy-going. Some of the most popular artists in the 1930’s included Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Glen miller, who would perform songs that Americans would swing, dance, and boogie to.
  • Lyrical Bands

    Lyrical Bands
    In the 40's was an influx of lyrical bands, many of which came to be loved by millions across the U.S. Largely based on the sound of previous decades, 1940's music exhibited a unique nature, where the lyrics bands incorporated into their songs withheld great meaning. Some popular bands throughout this era were the Count Basie Band and Harry James’ Band, both of which renowned the name and exhibition of the electric guitar. People also developed new dance styles, such as the jive and the whip.
  • Rock n' Roll

    Rock n' Roll
    The 1950’s were a defining time for music in America, with the true, iconic introduction of rock n’ roll. Displaying an upbeat and buoyant energy, rock music in this age took not only the nation, but the world by storm. Following the end of WWII, rock allowed for a musical journey that impacted all of society. At this point, instruments such as electric guitar and drums were widespread, and dance routines such as the ‘bop’ and the ‘boogie woogie’ became staple pieces.
  • Angsty Roots Rock

    Angsty Roots Rock
    Sixty styles music came about during a time of awakening in America, when people began to further explore different styles. Some of the most mainstream artists in the 60’s were Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, and Dion, all of whom remain praised today. The music scene of the 1960’s included a variety of instruments, including different forms of guitars and drums, along with some piano and bass. As for danceability, people were doing ‘the twist’ and the ‘mashed potato’ when listening to these tunes.
  • Funk & Soul

    Funk & Soul
    In some ways similar to the music of the 20’s, the funk and soul of the 1970’s proved to be monumental to American history. Featuring snippets of disco and R&B, the 70’s were a time of great fun and entertainment. Wearing bell bottoms and big hair, many people would spend their weekends in dance halls doing the YMCA and the Hustle. Some of the most popular artists during this groovy era included David Bowie, Elton Jon, and The Beatles, one of the most prodigious bands to hit the music industry.
  • Alternative Rock & New Wave

    Alternative Rock & New Wave
    The musical style of the 1980’s was referred to as the new wave, introducing a variety of new dance styles. As disco became a thing of the past, the 80’s presented different varieties of rock music, and even some references to synthesized, pop-like tunes. During this era, music in America took a lot of inspiration from different cultures, and artists such as U2, Metallica, and Duran-Duran ran rampant with newly incorporated sounds and styles. Concerts were also a huge part of the 1980's.
  • Redefined Rock & Pop

    Redefined Rock & Pop
    Nirvana, Spice Girls, and Sir Mix-a-Lot are all household names for the diverse and impactful music that the 90’s presented. A mixture of grunge rock and pop hits, the 1990’s musical style had a little something for everyone. Dancing often occurred in concert or club scenes, where fashion involved short skirts and daring fits. Often listened to by stereo, the music of the 90’s decade was incredibly impactful, and many songs from different artists were topping the charts week by week.
  • Hip-Hop & Punk Rock

    Hip-Hop & Punk Rock
    The 2000’s were a time of hip-hop and punk rock dominance. While rock music was still popular, punk and grunge seemed to overtake a lot of the music industry, featuring bands such as Green Day and Blink-182. As for other categories, hip hop was incredibly adored, with rising artists such as Eminem and 50 Cent. Surely, dancing styles evolved greatly during this decade, with more promiscuous and daring moves incorporated among the country.