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AREA OF STUDY: DANCE GCSE AQA MUSIC ORIGINS OF DANCE GENRES ALL ABOUT MOVEMENT ELEMENTS ARE : METRE TEMPO RHYTHM PHRASE STRUCTURE Element of METRE Pulse organized into repeating patterns of strong & weak beats Time signature is either simple 2/3/4 or compound 2/3/4 Element of TEMPO

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AREA OF STUDY:DANCE

GCSE AQA MUSIC


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ORIGINS OF DANCE GENRES

  • ALL ABOUT MOVEMENT

  • ELEMENTS ARE :METRE

  • TEMPO

  • RHYTHM

  • PHRASE STRUCTURE


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Element of METRE

  • Pulse organized into repeating patterns of strong & weak beats

  • Time signature is either simple 2/3/4 or compound 2/3/4


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Element of TEMPO

  • Speed of the beat being fast, medium or slow

  • Similar dances can have different tempos

  • eg: fast or slow minuet, medium or slow waltz


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Element of RHYTHM

  • Organized long & short notes

  • Dances feature particular rhythms which identify one from another

  • Eg: polka rhythm is different to the gavotte

  • Waltz rhythm is different to the salsa


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Element of PHRASE STRUCTURE

  • Regular symmetrical phrases to which dance steps can be fitted & maintained

  • Anacrusis (upbeat of the bar) phrases must also be symmetrical in structure


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BAROQUE SUITE DANCES intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • GAVOTTE

  • Fairly fast

  • Uses melodic sequences based on simple rhythmic patterns with little or no syncopation

  • Simple 2/2 time

  • Usually begins with anacrusis that occupies 2nd ½ of the bar


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  • SARABANDE intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Slow, serious

  • Slow tempo encourages the use of ornamentation to decorate the melodic line

  • Simple ¾ time

  • Sometimes the 2nd beat is given special emphasis


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  • GIGUE intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Fast

  • Regular 4 bar phrases in AB (binary) form

  • Compound 2 time = 6/8 time

  • Baroque suites often end in gigue

  • Texture is contrapuntal = 2 or more melodic lines playing together, with imitations in A which are inverted in B section


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  • BOURREE intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Like the gavotte = fairly fast tempo

  • AB (binary) form

  • Simple 2/2 time

  • Also starts with an anacrusis, BUT this is on the last ½ beat of the bar


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  • MINUET and trio intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Minuet is an elegant dance performed at a moderate pace

  • In AB (binary) form usually marked with repeat signs

  • Consists of regular phrase lengths

  • Contains well defined cadences (closures of phrases)

  • Uses sequences & simple rhythm patterns

  • Simple ¾ time

  • The only Baroque dance which survived into the Classical period


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In Baroque suite intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener. Minuet 1 & 2 were played one after the other, with 1 being repeated after 2 ; so the format became 1 2 1 or ABA.

In the Classical symphonies, the Minuet 2 became known as a Trio, because the texture was reduced to 3 parts. The Minuet 1 was then repeated after the trio (Minuet 2). Minuet 1 was usually embellished with improvised ornamentation, making the form ABA1, which in realist is ternary form.

Extra information about the Minuet…


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19 intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.TH CENTURY dances

  • WALTZ

  • Popular ballroom dance of European 19th century

  • Emphasis on melody, with supporting accompaniment

  • On the beat accompaniment, with the lowest chord note followed by the upper notes on beat 2 & 3

  • Eg: C eg

  • F ac

  • G bd etc…. Almost OOM-CHA-CHA like

  • Tempo was flexible

  • Simple ¾ time

  • Tempo flexible

  • Waltzes written for dance & listening purposes

  • Those for dancing = a more regular tempo

  • Those for listening = use of pauses / fermata & rubato to disguise the um-cha-cha constant triple time

  • Composers for listening dances varied; whilst the Strauss family wrote ballroom waltzes, & Tchaikovsky wrote for professional ballet dances


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  • POLKA intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Energetic Bohemian folk dance

  • Rhythm is often:

  • (ta-fa-te)-fe Ta tay ta say

  • Simple 2/4 time

  • Basic dance steps of quick-quick – slow

  • Physically learn saying “hop step step jump”


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AMERICAS DANCES intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • SALSA from Cuba (south of Florida)

  • Cuban dance from 1960’s

  • Syncopated rhythms & energetic moves

  • Consists of a 5 note spread out over 2 4/4 bars

  • Every musical element fits around theclave pattern

  • Simple 4/4 time

  • Influences are from :

  • Africa = percussion & thumb piano

  • Spain = guitar & simple chords


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  • SAMBA from Brazil intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Brazilian national dance

  • Percussive rhythms & syncopated harmonies

  • Call & response vocals

  • In a Major key with emphasis on the 2nd beat

  • Simple 2/4 time

  • Influences are from :

  • West Africa = percussion

  • Portugal = guitars 

  • Often combines other dances, for eg:

  • Samba & tango

  • Samba & rumba

  • Samba & cancao (sung samba)

  • Samba & salao (samba played at public balls)


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  • TANGO from Argentina intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Argentina’s popular folk dance of the 19th century

  • Repeated rhythmic patterns

  • Instruments = violin, piano, double bass

  • Simple 2/4 or 4/4 time

  • Modern bands fuse tango with ideas from jazz, rock, dance music to form new club rave rhythms


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POPULAR DANCES intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • RHYTHM & BLUES

  • Emphasis on song instead of instruments

  • Improvising was NOT a great part of this new R&B

  • Had a consistent backbeat with 12 bar blues chord changes eg:

  • C C C C / F F C C / G F C G

  • Simple 4/4 time

  • Evolved out of 1940’s jump Blues

  • Laid groundwork for Rock N Roll

  • Artists = Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, Ray Charles,TheDrillers


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  • REGGAE intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Up tempo R&B

  • Skimming string rapidly on a guitar & on ever changing rhythms

  • Happy “get up & go & dance” kind of music

  • Simple 4/4 time

  • Reggae came about one hot summer, when it became too hot to dance & perform Ska, so the rhythm was slowed down & a new music genre was developed

  • Origin in New Orleans R&B scene, called Ska

  • Jamaicans heard music over transistors from USA, cribbed it; after their 1962 independence, poor districts & shanty towns sprung up; increased unemployment, crime, abuse, anger, lawlessness & violence. “Rudeboys” adopted reggae into Jamaican culture, & brought new dimension to reggae lyrics

  • Artists = Bob Marley, Lee Perry, UB40, Desmond Dekker


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  • DISCO intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Strong steady beat for dancing

  • Clear cut rhythms throughout song

  • A memorable / easy melody

  • Simple 4/4 time

  • Developed in 1970’s

  • Longer than the usual 3 minutes of a pop song

  • First disco film = Saturday night fever

  • Followed by film of: Grease,Flashdance,Footloose,Dirty Dancing

  • Artists = Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Rose Royce, Chic


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  • RAP intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Breakdown of familiar songs which are changed through speaking in rhythmic patterns to music backings

  • Early days = scratching records & drum loops were used

  • Later, introduced hardcore guitars & major beatboxes, scratching was replaced with samples (segments of other songs)

  • MC raps over the beat backing

  • Themes = political issues of drugs, alcohol, abortion,sexuality,gender, racism,race intergration, discrimination, gang cults

  • Simple 4/4 time

  • Form of rap = hip hop

  • Rap emerged as the alternative to disco in USA in 1970’s

  • Gangsta rap developed in 1990’s

  • Artists = Puff Daddy, Eminem, Will Smith,Ice T, M C Hammer, Snoopdogg, So Solid crew, & only successful female rapper to date , being Missy Elliott


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  • HOUSE intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Deeper bass grooves

  • More electronics

  • Basic beat

  • Instrumental layering

  • Occasional female vocals

  • Simple 4/4 time

  • Grew out of post-disco era of the 1980’s

  • DJ’s wanted dance music, so House developed with the hallmark of synthesized sound effects

  • Large club scene in USA & UK, where tourists from Spain & Greece club scenes had returned home & took music with them

  • Artists = Seb Fontaine, John Kelly, Eddie Amador


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SUB-GENRE OF HOUSE IS… intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  •  HIP HOP

  • Dance types which immerged were:

  • Break dance

  • Roboty – o

  • Footloose

  • Form of rappin’

  • Simple 4/4 time

  • Describes the music, dance & art form of the New York Bronx district


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SUB-GENRE OF HOUSE intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener. IS ALSO ….

  • AMBIENT HOUSE

  • Sampled & looped sounds along with a vodacoder (speech synthesizer)

  • Also known as “chill out” music– where one blends timbres of instruments & voices

  • Simple 4/4 time

  • DJ’s taped people’s voices repeating sentences / words etc, mixed these & produced backing to a rhythmic beat


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SUB-GENRE OF HOUSE intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.IS ALSO …

  • ACID HOUSE

  • Style of dance from Chicago USA

  • Squelchy sounds & deep bass lines of Roland TB303 synthesizer

  • Got term from 1st song by band Phuture, called “acid tax”

  • Simple 4/4 time

  • Jelled in warehouse parties in London in 1986 onward; forerunner of raves

  • Hit British TOTP with groups like M/A/R/R/S, S’Express & Techno-tronic


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  • TECHNO intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Electronically produced

  • Designed for small audiences

  • Tempo either sped up or drastically slowed down

  • Simple 4/4 time

  • Roots in electronic house music in Detroit in mid 1980’s

  • Artists = The Prodigy, 2 Unlimited, Orb


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  • HARDCORE intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Beats per minute on recording are sped up to undanceable levels

  • Designed to alienate the broader audience

  • Very fast simple 4/4 time

  • Only appeals to minority of the music lovers

  • Artists = Plastikman, Aphex twin


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  • JUNGLE intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Aggressive hardcore combining driving techno beats with breakbeat & dancehall reggae

  • Frenetic, fast head banging up tempo music, where an MC initiates call & response between clubbers & the DJ

  • Frenetic simple 4/4 time (up to 160 beats per minute)

  • Uk Jamaican raga + white English rave = jungle music

  • Ragga is an extension of reggae DJ’s; rave involves all night dancing to synth-lead tunes.


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  • GARAGE intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • More soulful with synths not sustained, melodies less dense in texture, individual instruments heard only for a short period of time

  • Vocalists are important

  • Rhythms are chopped up & played back in syncopated sections

  • Medium simple 4/4 time

  • Named after Paradise Garage club in New York

  • 1996 UK club scene added aggressive drum beats & bass lines & some even added raga

  • Artists = Oxide & Neutrino, Miss Ultra Nate, True Slappers, Craig David


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  • GRUNGE intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Form of Indie Rock music = post punk of the 1980’s

  • Lots of rhythms strung together to make a distorting sound; not always rhythmical & regular; almost sounds like poli-rhythms

  • Thick textured head banging simple 4/4 time

  • Artists = Nirvana, Limp Biskit,Kurt Cobain,Korn,Smashing Pumpkins,Pearl Jam

  • Almost teeters on the edge of UNMUSICAL / UNRHYTHMICAL pop bands; the above artists always being under the influence of drugs and alcohol when performing.


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  • TRANCE intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Brief synthesizer lines of endless track repeats with very slight rhythm changes

  • Trance is DJ led, using echo, repetition, sequences, very fast beat, very slow harmonic bass & co-ordinated lighting; all these effects set up a trance like state in the clubbers

  • Heart paced & sense orientated simple 4/4 time

  • Combination of Techno & Hardcore which broke out in the 1990’s

  • Trance has developed on its own since 2000, being popular in the Mediterranean summer rave scene

  • Artists = Sacha, William Orbit, Chicans, Ferry Corsten


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  • INDIE= INDEPENDENT LABELLED MUSIC intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Known as alternative music, describing music which comes from independent labels; tracks not found in the mainstream charts, until Nirvana in 1991

  • 2 forms of indie :

  • * indie rock = post punk of 1980’s

  • * indie pop = sweeter 3 chord & very simple melody

  • Guitar based = mix of lead, rhythm & bass guitar for melody & accompaniment

  • Simple 2/4 or 4/4 time

  • Experimental bands fall into this category ; where music is very loud & guitar based

  • Similar to Brit-pop, which is based on R&R models like the Beatles.

  • Artists = Nirvana, Kate Bush, Goo Goo Dolls, Oasis, Blur


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  • CLUB DANCE intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • Defined by its percussion, 4/4 time, strict dance tempo

  • Caused a separation between live & recorded music

  • The DJ’s manipulate the recordings more than a live performer can, since technology has advanced so fast since 1995

  • Simple 4/4 time

  • Devices used are as follows :

  • LOOP

  • MIDI

  • REMIX

  • SAMPLER

  • SEQUENCER


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DEVICES USED IN intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.CLUB DANCE MUSIC

  • LOOP = 4 bar section which fits harmonically & rhythmically with a combination of loops; being a short melody, arpeggio (dmsd), vocal hook (short repeated line)

  • MIDI = musical instrument digital interface = connects electronic musical instruments with PC’s & effects units

  • REMIX = small extracts are taken from existing music & it is electronically transformed into a new piece of music, with hooks in chorus, bass riffs, new chord structures, borrowed rhythms or instrument changes

  • SAMPLER = device which records, manipulates & replays digital audio samples. These samples can be modified to create new sounds or to play back original sounds in different order

  • SEQUENCER = device which is used to record, edit & replay any performance instructions; eg: MIDI note off / on, sequences control synthesizer & sampler


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  • DRUM intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.‘N ‘BASS

  • Consists of sampling & sequencing

  • Vocals are taken from other tunes, speeded up & new rhythmic sections are created

  • Drum loops are arranged to move from 1 rhythm to the next

  • Simple 4/4 time

  • Drum ‘n ‘bass = crafted jazz influenced styles +funk + Latin American influences

  • Artists = Bukem, The Jingleberries


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  • WHAT TO LISTEN FOR … intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • GAVOTTE- LONGER ANACRUSIS

  • SARABANDE – SLOW; ORNAMENTATION

  • GIGUE - FAST ; 2 TIME

  • BOURREE-SHORT ANACRUSIS

  • MINUET-ELEGANCE; 1 23


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WHAT TO LISTEN FOR … intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • WALTZ- UM-CHA-CHA 1 23

  • POLKA - QUICK QUICK SLOW


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WHAT TO LISTEN FOR … intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • SALSA- CLAVE RHYTHM STICKS

  • SAMBA-LOUDER 2ND BEAT

  • TANGO- CONSTANT RHYTHM; VIOLIN, PIANO & DOUBLE BASS


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WHAT TO LISTEN FOR … intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • R & B- LOUDER VOCALS THAN INSTRUMENTS

  • REGGAE- UNIQUE EVER CHANGING RHYTHMS

  • DISCO- STRONG BEAT; MEMORABLE MELODY

  • RAP- MC RAPPER WITH BEATBOX


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WHAT TO LISTEN FOR … intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • HOUSE- ELECTRONIC BASS GROOVES

  • HIP HOP - BREAKDANCE RHYTHMS

  • AMBIENT - SPEECH SYNTHESIZING

  • ACID - SQUELCHY; DEEP BASS


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WHAT TO LISTEN FOR… intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • TECHNO- TEMPO SPEEDS FLUCTUATING

  • HARDCORE- VERY FAST TEMPO; HEADBANGING ELECTRONICS

  • JUNGLE- AGGRESSIVE ; MC CALL & RESPONSES

  • GARAGE - VOCALS; SOULFUL;VARIED INSTRUMENTS APPEARING


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WHAT TO LISTEN FOR … intended for actual dancing, but were written to be played in concerts or in the home, evoking the spirit of dance music for the passive listener.

  • GRUNGE- DISTORTED RHYTHMS & SOUNDS

  • TRANCE - ENDLESS TRACK REPEAT

  • INDIE- LOUD GUITAR BASE

  • CLUB DANCE - STRICT PERCUSSIVE

  • DRUM ‘N ‘BASS- DRUM LOOPS CONNECTING 1 SECTION TO ANOTHER


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