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Dance music
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Dance music

Dance music is music composed, played, or both, specifically for social dancing.

In principle, dance music includes a huge variety of music, from waltzes to rock and roll and country music or tangos. As of the late 1970s, however--particularly for people who frequent nightclubs--the term dance music has come to more specifically refer to electronic music offshoots of rock and roll such as disco, house, techno and trance.

(See also: hip hop, breakdancing, funk, drum and bass, reggae, and electronic music.)


Dance music in the traditional sense, are musical forms supposed to serve as an accompaniment for a dance (at least formally). It can be either the whole musical piece or a part of a larger musical arrangement. Many cultures have their own form of traditional dance music such as Irish traditional music.

An example of traditional dance music in the United States is Old-time music which is played at Square dances and Contra dances.

Dance musical works usually bear the name of the corresponding dance, i.e. waltzes, the tango, the bolero, the can-can, minuets, salsa, various kinds of jigs and the breakdown. Other dance forms include contradance, the merengue, the Cha-Cha, Since dance almost always inseparable from music, in most cases it is difficult to decide whether the name of a particular kind of music was transferred onto the dance or vice versa.

See also: Dance as form of musical composition.