Halloween is almost here and yet again I am late setting up something for Halloween related playlists. In past years, I’ve just let this go since it feels like it’s too late to get something together when I start thinking about it in mid-October. But this year I decided to just do it. After all, we may be thinking about what we’re going to do for next Halloween, in which case we’ve got plenty of time to plan.
A few years ago I set up a holiday music page to do my best to collect the songs that are tagged in different ways but that all generally mean they might be useful to use in a holiday playlist or be fun to choreograph a dance to for a holiday party. But this was specifically aimed at the Christmas/Winter holiday tradition. And it was made more difficult because I was gathering together a whole bunch of different tags.
For Halloween things are much easier. All I needed to do was pull in some Halloween playlists and match them with the existing music4dance catalog. I’ve got a good start on this, which you can see here. If you want to navigate to this yourself, just go to the tag cloud page (available from the music menu) and click on the “Halloween” tag. Then choose “List all songs tagged as Halloween.” If you want to filter by dance style, you can click on advanced search and choose the style.
As of this writing, I’ve got about 80 songs cataloged as Halloween that are also cross referenced by dance. If you have lists of danceable Halloween music, I’d be happy to include them on the site. For this or any other questions or suggestions, feel free to reply to this post or send feedback. You can also tag songs yourself.
As always, thank you for supporting music4dance.
When you have a list of songs (such as the Halloween list) you can refine the list by clicking on the advanced search link or by clicking on any of the dances or tags listed on the page.
I’m in the middle of doing a substantial rewrite of music4dance to modernize it and, hopefully, clean up the code enough that I can start adding new features without breaking things. I had originally intended to keep all of the functionality of the site as I moved forward. But this has been a bigger undertaking than I anticipated. In additional, the original site grew somewhat organically, so there are multiple ways of doing things that weren’t so much designed as grown. I’m not sure that it makes sense to preserve all of the different ways of doing the same thing.
Right now I am rewriting the core song list functionality that is used on all or the pages that (surprise) list songs. This includes the main song library, all of the dance pages, and the holiday music pages. In addition the results of advanced search and the pages that you navigate to from many of the other pages like the wedding music, tags, and the ballroom dance pages will be affected by this round of changes. And I’m finding it difficult to reproduce all of the existing functionality while keeping the code clean enough to feel like I can move forward. Not to mention that I’m itching to get through this to start writing new features.
So, before I arbitrarily start cutting things, I thought I’d ask: How do you use music4dance? What are your favorite features? Please let me know, so I don’t go and remove something that I don’t think is essential, but that is the reason that you love the site.
Please reply to this post or send feedback with your favorite features or a description of how you use the site.
Quick Tip: You can share your searches. Any time you create a list of songs, whether that is through using advanced search, or by refining a search in other ways, you can copy the URL out of the browsers address bar and share it with friends and fellow dancers.
One of the main reasons that I love working on the music4dance project is that I get to hear from dancers and musicians that find the site useful.
Here is a question that a user recently asked:
I searched on your webpage, I could not find info about genre Pop. Can you show me info about genre Pop, please? Will you update/make info about genre Pop like the genre Bolero (https://www.music4dance.net/dances/bolero)
Which is perfectly fair. I have certainly biased towards more information about dance than about music, and have kept the music details to those that specifically apply to partner dancing. The way the site is set up, I have a primary “index” of the various partner dances. Then I think about refining that search on things like musical genre or tempo.
That said, it is still possible to start from musical genre and go from there. The full list of genres that are available on music4dance can been seen on the tags page. The genres are the green tags. And now that I look at it from this perspective, it would be nice to be able to filter on just genre tags – I’ll see if I can get that feature implemented soon. You can click on the Pop tag on that page and see a list of all of the pop songs in the music4dance catalog.
What I don’t give you in this context is a description of the “Pop” genre the way I do with a dance style. While I think that’s an interesting idea, I feel like it’s been covered elsewhere in more detail than I would be able to manage. For instance, there is a site called rateyourmusic.com that does something pretty close to what I’m doing, but specifically for musical genres rather than dance styles. Check out their Pop page. And of course wikipedia is always a great source for information like this.
I’m always happy to answer questions and would like to get enough questions to make this a regular part of the blog. So please feel free to submit questions via our feedback form or by emailing directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After several rounds of closed beta, I’m ready to open up the account management and tag editing features as public betas.
The tag editor is the first of a number of features that I’m planning that will enable you to customize your music4dance experience. With the tag editor you can tag songs and the relationships between songs and dance styles based on your own tastes and then use the tag filtering tools to create song lists based on your own tags as all the tags already in the system. In addition, just the act of tagging a song adds it to your master list of songs.
Get started by registering. Then take a quick look at the documentation and get started. Or for the more daring among you, just start tagging songs and see what happens.
Thanks for trying this feature. Please submit bugs and feature requests with our bug report form.
I’ve added a brief description of the tag cloud page, as well as modifying the documentation for the song list and dance style pages to reflect changes that I made to add capabilities to filter on tags. With this the documentation is roughly up to date with the code (a strangely odd feeling from a programmer’s perspective) and I’ll be rolling out a beta for user tags soon. If you’re interested in participating in the beta, please sign up via this feedback form.