Dance music

All of the stuff you need to know about dance music (AOS 3) Hope it helps! ;)

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  • Created by: Beth
  • Created on: 19-04-13 15:46

Waltz

The dance steps

  • Waltz is a partner dance, with a close hold/ embrace.
  • The dancers do a step on every beat of the bar (3 steps per bar.)
  • The dancers spin a lot.
  • Some of the more complex movements include rise and fall, heel leads and heel turns.

Dance origins/ culture 

  • The waltz originated in Vienna.
  • It is traditionally danced in a ballroom.
  • Composers include Johann Strauss and Josef Lanner.

Musical features

  • 3/4 time.
  • Major key.
  • Simple harmonies.
  • Legato melody line.
  • Um cha cha/ Um pah pah bass line.

Instrumentation

  • Classical orchestra (strings, woodwind, some brass and percussion.)
  • Sometimes played on the piano.
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Tango

Dance steps

  • The tango is a partner dance, in close hold/ embrace.
  • Sharp, quick movements.
  • Kicks and flicks of the legs.
  • Precise footwork.

Dance culture/ origins

  • Tango originated in the slums of Argentina, where it was originally danced in clubs by men to attract women. Now it is danced in ballrooms.
  • Some of the composers include Cage, Stravinsky and Satie.

Musical features

  • 2/4 or 4/4 time.
  • Syncopated and dotted rhythms.
  • Minor key.
  • Staccato and accented articulations.
  • Sudden changes in dynamics.

Instrumentation

  • Bandoneon(s) (accordion)
  • Stringed instruments such as violins, double basses and cellos.
  • Piano.
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Salsa

Dance steps

  • Salsa is a partner dance, with a loose hold/ embrace.
  • Lots of hip swinging
  • Steps linked with the son clave rhythm

Dance culture/ origins

  • The salsa has Cuban son, jazz and African a capella singing influences.
  • Performers include Celia Cruz, Gloria Estafan, Ricky Martin and Ruben Blades.

Musical features

  • Son clave rhythm.
  • Syncopation.
  • Spanish lyrics.
  • Simple time (2/4 or 4/4)

Instrumentation

  • Percussion- Timbales, guiros, claves...
  • Brass- trumpets and trombones
  • Piano.
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Disco

Dance Steps

  • Improvised solo dance movements.
  • Side to side steps between bars.
  • Turning the hands and raising the arms in time to the beat.
  • Turns concluded by planting the foot on the floor on the beat.

Dance culture/ origins

  • Performed in discos (discotheques.)
  • Became popular in the 1970s in America.
  • Started during WW2 in France.
  • Artists include Donna Summer, the Beegies and the Jackson 5...

Musical features

  • Hookline/ catchy lyrics at chorus.
  • 4 to the floor (bass drum)
  • Quaver OR semiquaver high hat rhythm.
  • Wah wah pedal/ effect on guitar.

Instrumentation

  • Drum kit.
  • Electric guitars.
  • Synthesisers.
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Club Dance Music Technology

  • Looping- repeating the same pattern.
  • Dubbing.
  • Use of reverb- the sound (usually vocals) reverberates/ echoes.
  • Use of synthesisers- synths can make electronic/ artificial sounds.
  • Panning- changing which speaker the sound is focused from (left or right).
  • Delay- this is similar to reverb.
  • Filter sweeps- makes a "swooshy" sound.
  • Vocoder- electronic voice (daleck voice!).
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American Line dances- country and western music

Dance steps

  • Dances have a number of walls; A wall is the direction in which the dancers face at any given time. This is coreaographed to the song.
  • It is danced in lines, and is a group dance.
  • Movement is concentrated with the legs and torso.

Dance culture/ origins

  • It originated in the USA, from folk dances.
  • It is NOT a barn dance, as it isn't a partner dance.
  • The most famous country and western artist is thought to be Billy Rae Cyrus

Musical features

  • Simple melodies and harmonies.
  • Lyrics tell a story.

Instrumentation 

  • Fiddle.
  • Banjo.
  • Steel guitar.
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Irish Jigs and Reels

Dance steps

  • Danced in lines.
  • A stiff upper body position is maintained throughout.
  • Lots of leg and foot movements.

Dance culture/ origins

  • The music is memorised and passed down through to each generation- this is known as "oral tradition."

Musical features

  • Use of ornaments.
  • jig= compound time (6/8, 9/8 or 12/8)
  • Reel= simple time (2/4, 4/4 or 3/4- usually 4/4)

Instrumentation

  • Uillean pipes.
  • Bodhran drum.
  • Tin whistle/ flute.
  • Guitar.
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Bhangra

Dance steps

  • Often danced in circles.
  • Some dances use sticks and swords.
  • It is the Indian party dance, so is lively and upbeat.

Dance culture/ origins

  • Originates from the Punjab region of India.
  • Traditionally celebrates a good harvest of the crop "bhang."

Musical features

  • The chaal rhythm underpins every bhangra piece.
  • Punjabi lyrics.

Instrumentation- sometimes music tech. is used, so synthesisers are used.

  • Dhol drum.
  • Tabla drums.
  • Dholak.
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