GCSE Music - Dance Music

A few key bits of information needed for the dance music section in the OCR Music GCSE examination.

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Irish Dance

Jig: Compound time - 6/8, 9/8 etc.

Reel: Simple time - 2/4, 4/4 etc.

Dancing: Step dance, fast and energetic, often in lines.

Features of music:

  • narrow melodic range
  • simple harmonies
  • occasional counter melodies
  • fast tempo
  • ornaments

Main instruements used:

  • Uilleann piped (Irish pipes)
  • Bodhran (Drum)
  • Fiddle
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African A Cappella

Features of music:

  • call and response
  • songs often have meanings (violence, alcohol abuse etc.)
  • warm tone quality with voices blending together
  • wide range of pitch
  • vibrato and additional vocal sounds
    • shouting
    • tongue rolling
    • clicking
    • use of the glottle
  • clear phrases - sometimes repeated

Chorus sometimes sings in unison and sometimes in harmonies.

Lots of syncopation (rhythmic device) - off beat

  • Mbube style - singing loudly
  • Isicathanya - light singing
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American Line Dance

Features of dance:

  • Dancers stand in lines all facing same way.
  • Perform the same steps with no physical contact
  • Use moves like: boot scoots, grapevines and heel digs.

Features of music:

  • ballad style songs (emphasis on lyrics)
  • single melody lines
  • simple harmonies (often 'tonic - dominant' bass line, crotchet rhythm)
  • regular 2-4 bar phrases
  • 'verse-chorus' structure (often with an introduction)
  • slides, glissandos
  • 4/4 time signature
  • steady crotchet movement in bassline

Instruments:

  • guitars
  • steel guitar
  • violin
  • banjo
  • harmonica
  • accordian
  • drums
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Bhangra

Features of dance:

  • Energetic hops, steps and leaps
  • Originates from Punjab (uses Punjabi language)

Musical features:

  • Chaal - The essential backing rhythm pattern.
  • Dhol - The double headed drum for playing the Chaal
  • Shouts of 'Hoi' from backing chorus
  • fast tempo
  • 4/4 time signature
  • verse - chorus structure

Main instruments:

  • sitar
  • tabla
  • harmonium
  • tumbi
  • sarangi
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Disco

Features of dance:

  • Improvised dancing
  • individual of in a group

Musical features:

  • '4 on the floor drum beat'
  • rhythm guitar often supports high hat
  • usually fast tempo - around 120 bpm
  • lots of syncopation
  • strong bassline
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Salsa

Features of dance:

  • Originated in Cuba
  • partners held close
  • steps in 4 beat patters
  • spins and holds
  • upper body remains upright

Musical features:

  • Son Clave - essential backing rhythm pattern
  • emerged in 1960s
  • influenced by American Jazz
  • highly syncopated
  • lots of ostinato - repeated rhythms of phrases
  • complex cross rhythms
  • melodies harmonized in 3rds and 6ths
  • often has a montuno section - improvised

Instruments:

  • brass instruments
  • flutes
  • singer
  • spanish guitar
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Tango

Features of dance:

  • partners held in very close hold
  • lots of fast leg movements

Musical features:

  • moderate tempo - moderato
  • dotted rhythms
  • syncopation
  • minor key
  • melody can be chromatic

Instruments:

  • Bandonean (accordian)
  • violin
  • piano
  • bass
  • castanets
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Comments

Jorris Bohnson

thanks, but this is awful

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