Sometimes songs are written with certain beats and tempos that make them ideal background soundtracks for individual types of dances. This series of songs highlights those with titles referencing a specific dance.
For more information on each piece click on the specific image.
Title: The New York Polkas, as danced by Mlle. Pauline Desjardins & Mons. Gabriel De Korponay
Date: Circa 1844
The polka was a dance that originated in Central Europe during the mid-19th century. It spread throughout Europe and the U.S. and is still popular in areas with a large Central European population.
Title: La Rumba (El Danson Social): Tango Argentine
Date: Circa 1913
Composer: J. Tim Brymn
The tango as a dance and musical genre first appeared in the late 1800s in Argentina and Uruguay. It quickly gained popularity and spread internationally.
Audio file taken from the Library of Congress. Click here to view the original site.
Title: Southern Hospitality: Characteristic Rag-Time Cake-Walk
Date: Circa 1899
Composer: Arthur Pryor
A cakewalk was originally a type of dance that was popular in the Southern United States, particularly amongst the slaves on large plantations. As the dance became more popular, a tradition of awarding a cake to the best couple supposedly led to the origin of the phrase “taking the cake.”
Title: That Ever Lovin’ Bear-Cat Dance
Date: Circa 1911
Composer: Paul Pratt
Title: The “Black Hawk” Waltz
Composer: Mary E. Walsh
The official origin of the waltz is unclear but one of the older versions began in Vienna in the late 18th century. By the turn of the 20thcentury various forms of a waltz existed across Europe and the U.S.