On a normal year, this would be a bit late for my normal Holiday Music blog post. But if you’re like me, you’re not planning to participate in a holiday dance party in the middle of a pandemic. So it’s more of a case of thinking about past and future years. There is no need to find a specific song for a routine or build a set list for a dance. But I would still like to listen to holiday music at home and maybe play with a few dance moves.
In any case, I’m continually working to improve the music4dance experience and this time of year concentrating a bit on holiday themes seems appropriate. The main thing I’ve done with the holiday music pages is to update them to the new system. Hopefully they are easier to read and work with in general. I’ve also explicitly excluded “Halloween” music, since one tends to want to separate out that from the Christmas and other winter holiday music. I’ve also updated the music4dance playlists on Spotify to reflect the larger catalog.
As of this writing there are 517 songs in the holiday catalog, up from 446 songs last year. If you are interested in helping build the catalog further, here are some things you could do:
- Browse our music catalog and tag songs as Holiday when you find them.
- If you have a list of holiday songs categorized by dance style that you are willing to share, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me through the feedback form.
- In addition, general contributions will help the holiday music catalog and other efforts.
As always if you have comments or suggestions please feel free to reply to this post or contact me here.
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.
What better than a top 100 list to end the year? Since music4dance is about the intersection of music and dance, I’ve taken the Spotify top 100 songs of 2015 (for the USA) and cross referenced it with the music4dance catalog.
About of a third of the songs were already in the music4dance catalog and had been matched to dance styles. Most of the others were songs that I could imagine partner dancing to, although some were a stretch. I made a lot of use of the “Unconventional” tag to try to show that many of these songs don’t exhibit all of the traditional attributes of the music that these dances grew up with. But that’s part of the fun of this project, and dancing in general – testing the limits of how music and dance fit together.
And of course, not all music is particularly suited to dancing of any kind. So my version of Spotify’s top 100 list ended up being only 87 songs because those were the songs that I could match any kind of partner dance, even stretching the traditional definitions.
Here’s a link to that list. You can build this link yourself (and try some variations) by going to the Advanced Search Form, clicking on the brown pencil (other) tag button in the “include tags” row of the form. Then choose tags to include – in this case I chose “2015” and “Top 100“. Clicking the search button will show the first page of the top 100 (errrr 87) songs and what dances I and others have matched with those songs. Check out the documentation for more details.
One fun variation on this search is to add the tag DWTS (for Dancing With The Stars) to this search. You end up with 21 songs that were both used in the last couple of seasons of DWTS and are on the Spotify Top 100 list for 2015. Another fun thing to do is to add your favorite style of dance to the search, if I added West Coast Swing to the Top 100 list, I’d end up with these 25 songs. (at least today – if other’s vote up songs as West Coast Swing, that number may change),
Do you disagree with my choice of dances for any of these songs? I would love to see what you have to say. Please feel free to comment on this post, or sign up or sign in to start tagging and voting on songs yourself.
Next year I expect that we’ll have enough activity to generate a top 100 list directly from the songs that you’ve chosen.