Bum ba bum ba badda ba badum ba da. The cadence and upbeat rhythm of the music played in the Star Wars cantina scenes are iconic. Although explicitly made for a Star Wars universe, the music does sound strikingly similar to actual music here on Earth, so let’s answer the question, what genre or style of music is in the Star Wars cantina?
Star Wars Cantina Music Genre Explained
Jizz, an upbeat swing/jazz genre of music, is played by cantina bands in Star Wars, most notably by Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, and the Max Rebo Band. Bobolo Baker’s All-Bith Band, Evar Orbus and His Galactic Jizz-Wailers, Hutt, Figrin D’an II and the New Modal Nodes, and The Sozzenels were among the other notable jizz bands. Jizz subgenres included jizz-wail, aubade, and glitz. In addition, a genre called jatz is a variation of, or similar to, jizz. The name “jizz” was first coined in Return of the Jedi novelization, where it describes a musician as a “jizz wailer.” The name of the genre wasn’t used officially until “Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina” was published in 1995.
The music seems inspired by early 20th-century jazz music played across the United States. Many movies and stories of that time also associated the music with organized crime that usually hung out in clubs playing that music. The closeness of the cadence and upbeat tempo is instantly recognizable and gives the cantina that subconscious vibe of that bygone era of mobsters and outlaws. An argument can also be made for jizz to have many similarities to the Jazz offshoot of Lindy Hop, created in New Orleans.
Now you know what style of music is in the Star Wars cantina. Check out our other Star Wars content, such as Stranger Things director might be directing a Star Wars movie, is Andor’s Luthen a former Jedi, and what type of ship does Luthen fly.