General Dance Discussion > Resource for dance teachers/students - contemporary technique class music arranged by count & tempo.

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by ContDanceMusic, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. ContDanceMusic

    ContDanceMusic New Member


    I am an accompanist working in London and I'm in the process of building a library of music for contemporary technique class.

    There's currently 155 tracks online covering counts of 'three' to 'ten' and everything is arranged by the count and tempo.

    You can hear a sampler from 'Volume 1' here;

    All the songs are available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google etc

    There's also further information and more details on each release at

    As a promo to forum members I'll be happy to send a couple tracks for free by email - if you PM the tracks titles you want and your address I'll send them over.

    Also any feedback or suggestions will be welcomed and if there are any requests for odd timings not already covered I'll try to incorporate them into future releases.

    Hope you enjoy the music,

  2. ContDanceMusic

    ContDanceMusic New Member

    Here's some of the music from Spotify that you can sample as well.

  3. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

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  4. ContDanceMusic

    ContDanceMusic New Member

    It's beats per minute, the track titles states the 'count', then 'tempo' and a description if suitable.

    Volumes 1-3 use orchestral instruments and percussion, Volumes 4-5 are piano only, Volumes 6-7 are percussion only and Volumes 8 (and soon to be 9) are drums and piano.

    Examples below;

    'Eights 120'
    'Fives 55 Drums and Piano'
    'Sevens 60 Just Percussion'
    'Fours 50 Just Piano'

    There's BPM calculators online if that helps, Google 'BPM Counter' as I can't post links here yet!
  5. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Since we are a ballroom site, your notations don't really translate to us. "Fives 55" ... no one here has any clue what that is.

    Here is a list of our dances, and the tempi for different styles and proficiencies that we use for competition, and mostly for social as well.

    Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 10.38.12 AM.png Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 10.37.10 AM.png
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
    ContDanceMusic likes this.
  6. ContDanceMusic

    ContDanceMusic New Member

    Thank's for replying.

    I only accompany for contemporary classes (occasionally ballet) and didn't realise this was solely a ballroom forum (nice rhyme!).

    With regards to how the current music would relate, the measure is similar to the count I think and then the BPMs would be the same but as this music wasn't written for ballroom dancing I'm not sure how suitable it would be.

    I might do a ballroom dance album though now I've got this info!

    Enjoy your dancing and thanks for the heads up :)

    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  7. ContDanceMusic

    ContDanceMusic New Member

    But you'd probably find you could dance a tango to an 'Eights 120' - as long as the BPM is in the right ball park and the count is divisible by the measure it could technically work but might not be very fun!
    raindance likes this.
  8. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I don't (and doubt anyone else does either) know what "eights 120" means.

    Tango music is 4/4 and occasionally 2/4, and around 30 measures a minute.
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Ballroom, Swing, Tango, Country... partner dances.
  10. ContDanceMusic

    ContDanceMusic New Member

    'Eights 120' would mean the track has groupings of 8 beats (counts) and there are 120 beats per minute.

    If a Tango is in 4/4 or 2/4 (each bar has four or two counts/beats) then as that divides evenly into 8 it should fit with regards to timing, also the tempo (BPM) matches.

    You can try it out if you like, here's 'Eights 120' - let me know if you can Tango to it!

  11. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Yes the clave and the snare drum and the beat are fine for tango. The ongoing thing that sounds like a tin can makes it too latin-ish for tango though.
  12. ContDanceMusic

    ContDanceMusic New Member

    Ha! Maybe this one is better,

    Thing is the music was written for contemporary technique class as there's not a great array of available accompaniment - I'm sure there's a million better tracks to Tango to!
  13. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    What is grouping of 8 beats? Do you mean the phrase by chance?
  14. ContDanceMusic

    ContDanceMusic New Member

    Maybe! I'm not sure what you mean by phrase.

    The tempo dictates what counts as a beat - if it's 120 BPM (in the case of 'Eights 120') a beat would be every half second and the 'Eights' means there are 8 of these before it repeats.

    With contemporary technique class the dancers are usually counting in their heads and quite often it's not in groupings/cycles/phrases of 8 (which would correlate to most music which is in 4/4) - they might be doing an exercise in 5 / 7 / 9 or in horrible cases they want a 5, 7 then 9 or worse! That's why I started to make these tracks as it's gives them an opportunity to practice without a live musician.
  15. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Well we only use 3/4 and 4/4, and at very set and predictable tempi. We only ever count to 3, or to 4, and sometimes 8... only... ever.

    5, 6, 7, 9... doesn't apply to us. And the character of the music has to be appropriate. Dancing a tango to one of your 4s that sounds like a, I dunno, samba would be weird.

    Keep throwing out options, and we might find something useful.
  16. ContDanceMusic

    ContDanceMusic New Member

    With all of the ballroom dances there seems to be specific rhythms at the designated tempos and I'm not sure anything I've written would coincide, technically you could dance to some of the tracks but there's much more suitable music available.

    It's been informative for me though and congrats on a nice forum :)
  17. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    I've added a link, see above. The phase is the fundamental element in dance music. The steps and figures fit the phrase. The measure is for musicians, dancers move according to the phrase.
    But then you start levelling down dancing to something computers usually do. Do you play an acoustic instrument ContDanceMusic ?
  18. ContDanceMusic

    ContDanceMusic New Member

    Thanks for the link.

    I read through the wiki but I'm still not sure on what the phrase would be with regards to dance music - is it the number of bars/measures before the chord sequence or the groove/rhythm repeats?

    And yes, I play a few instruments which all can be played acoustically.
    opendoor likes this.
  19. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    Maybe listen to some actual ballroom tracks and count the music in your head. You may notice that though the music is written in 4/4 (for a tango or foxtrot or rumba for instance), it can also be counted in groups of eight beats (two measures). Starting an eight beat series of movements (e.g. a simple step pattern) looks and feels a bit better if you start dancing on the 1 instead of on the "5" (which is really just another 1 from the next measure).

    You can try watching some ballroom videos, too (try youtube), but it may be hard to see this sort of musicality easily on a video if you don't know what you're looking for.

    Hope that helps - we all think about and use music in different ways. Musicians vs composers vs ballroom dancers vs contemporary or ballet dancers vs people listening to enjoy it.
  20. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    Here is one example of a tango demonstration. With this piece of tango music, I hear the 8 beat groupings easily. Do you?


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