I recently heard from a customer that he was searching for “Oh, These Dark Eyes“ on the site and this is what he saw:
In fact, “Oh, These Dark Eyes” by Tango No. 9 is in the music4dance catalog, but it wasn’t even showing up on the first page. That seems crazy. And wrong.
After a little digging, I discovered my mistake. When I merged the Search Like Google feature into the default search I left the default sort set to “most recent”. So when you search for anything with a bunch of words in it, there will be a whole lot of results (in this case 464) and if I sort by anything other than closest match what I’m really looking for is likely to get lost like a needle in a haystack.
This should now be fixed. When you search by default you’ll get the most relevant results at the top of the page (just like a normal search engine). I’ve also added a “Closest Match” button to the search order possibilities on the Advanced Search Page which is the default.
So hopefully there will be less searching for needles in haystacks.
Thanks to the gentle customer that pointed out my mistake. I’m always looking for ways to improve the site so please feel free to send me feedback if anything looks like it’s not working the way you suspect. Even if it’s not an outright bug (like this one was), I’m happy to take feedback and see if I can make music4dance a more useful resource for you and others.
And lest you think I’ve dropped my head completely back into code and failed to continue to improve the content, I’ve added some more DWTS songs this week as well as digging up and integrating some fresh lists of ballroom music, including some fun new Cha-Cha, Rumba, and Tango songs. You can still find the most recent changes to the catalog by sorting by modified date. That’s the little pencil icon right below the “Advanced Search” text on any search results. Or if you want to get tricky and just find the songs that have been most recently added, you can go to the Advanced Search Page and choose “When Added” in the “Sort By” field.
Dancing With The Stars Season 23 is in full swing here in the US, and very entertaining as always. Although I’m a bit disappointed that they appear to have stopped showing quick glimpses of the pros dancing the show back in after commercial – that was a lot of fun.
As I’ve talked about before, I use this show and others as a source for new music for the catalog. But that definitely biases things towards performance pieces and less traditional songs. What do you think, should I continue to do this, or should I concentrate on more traditional music?
Now that the 2016 Olympics are over and the Paralympics are wrapping up, it seems like a good time to highlight the two dances that I’ve included in the music4dance catalog that originated in Brazil. Samba and Bossa Nova are closely related musically and have very similar characteristic rhythms, but the Samba is considerably faster than the Bossa Nova. I’ve updated the catalogs for both dances and added a bunch of new (to me) songs for each dance, check them out: Samba Song List, Bossa Nova Song List
If you have other songs that you think should be on these lists, feel free to let me know either as comment to this post or on the feedback page. Or participate in the process by creating an account and voting songs up and down.
Before I leave the topic of the Paralympics, I wanted to give a shout out to one of my personal heroes – Kerri Morgan.
And back on topic (kind of ) – I just noticed that Wheelchair Dance is a recognized sport in the Paralympics. I’m off to watch some videos…
I was tickled to hear Nigel Lythgoe talk a little about choreographing tap on a recent episode of So You Think You Can Dance. The commentary is at about 1:13, but please start at about 1:10 so you can see the performance that he’s referring to. It’s a tap piece that Emma, one of the young competitors, choreographed to “Rather Be” by the Pentatonix. Just amazing – pause for a moment of silent appreciation for some real talent.
Nigel asked if she choreographed by listening to the rhythm or by counting eights. Quickly followed by the statement – “Musicians only count to four, dancers count to eight.” Funny!
Besides making for a pithy quote, it ties right into a project that I’ve been working on recently. I am experimenting with a phone application that I hope will be useful to choreographers and one of the things that I’ve been thinking about is phrasing of music. It’s a variation on the web-app that I have on the site for counting out tempos. When choreographing for many ballroom dances, the basic unit of measure tends to be a two-measure mini-phrase, which would be 8 counts in most dances and 6 for the waltz. And then there are longer phrases, which are closer to what musicians think in. Here’s a quick mock-up of the phrasing page for the app – the idea is that you can count out (or just enter) the tempo of the song, choose a standard length and get a quick cheat-sheet of the number of phrases of various types that one would need to choreograph to fill the song.
Would this be useful to you as a choreographer? Are there other features that might make as much or more sense to have your phone figure out for you? I’m always looking for feedback, and the early the better since most of this isn’t even coded yet.