Library of Congress

Authorities & Vocabularies

The Library of Congress > Linked Data Service > LC Medium of Performance Thesaurus for Music (LCMPT)

From Library of Congress Medium of Performance Thesaurus for Music


big band


  • A band generally of 10-15 solo instruments, predominantly winds, and sometimes including a vocalist, that performs jazz and popular music for social dancing.

  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Variants

    • big jazz band
    • dance band
    • dance orchestra (big band)
    • jazz band
    • jazz orchestra
    • stage band
  • Broader Terms

  • Sources

    • found: New Grove dict. of jazz:Jazz IV, p. 545 (The ten- 15-piece dance bands ... "big bands" or "big jazz bands")
    • found: New Grove dict. of jazz:Bands (In American schools the term "stage band" is used as a synonym for "big band" ... in jazz, the term ... is most frequently applied to larger ensembles for which the term "big band," "dance band," and "orchestra" have often been used interchangeably)
    • found: What did you dream? [SR], p2010:disc label (Dan Gailey Jazz Orchestra)
    • found: Wikipedia, Feb. 21, 2013:Orchestral jazz (Orchestral jazz is a jazz genre developed in the United States in the 1920s, most significantly by Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington. As early as the 1910s there had been dance orchestras playing the popular songs of the day along with a smattering of jazz. But the first to truly perform and record orchestral jazz was Fletcher Henderson, starting in about 1923, who gathered from smaller quintets and sextets a number of notable New York based players and formed the first full jazz orchestra.) Big band (A big band is a type of musical ensemble that originated in the United States and is associated with jazz and the Swing Era typically consisting of rhythm, brass, and woodwind instruments totaling approximately 12 to 25 musicians. The terms jazz band, jazz ensemble, jazz orchestra, stage band, society band, and dance band may describe this type of ensemble in particular contexts.)
  • General Notes

    • A band generally of 10-15 solo instruments, predominantly winds, and sometimes including a vocalist, that performs jazz and popular music for social dancing.
  • Change Notes

    • 1986-02-11: new
    • 2016-04-12: revised
  • Alternate Formats