Folk Dance Music to Get You Moving

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some fresh and upbeat folk dance music to get you moving? Check out our top picks for the best folk dance tunes – perfect for any occasion!


Folk dance music is the music accompanying traditional dances. It can be played on many different types of instruments, including acoustic guitars, fiddles, banjos, and accordions. The beat and rhythm of the music often varies depending on the Dance type being performed.

Some of the most popular folk dance tunes come from countries like England, Scotland, Ireland, and America. However, there are folk dances from all over the world. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular folk dance tunes from each region.

What is Folk Dance Music?

Folk dance music is a genre of music that is usually associated with traditional folk dancing. This type of music often has a strong beat that can make it easy to dance to. It can be very lively and upbeat, or it can be more slow and graceful. Folk dance music is often very catchy and can be a lot of fun to listen to.

Characteristics of Folk Dance Music

Folk dance music is a type of music that is meant to be danced to, and it often has simple, repetitive melodies. This type of music is found all over the world, and it has been around for centuries.

Folk dance music usually has a strong beat, and the steps of the dance often follow the beat of the music. The tempo (speed) of the music can be fast or slow, depending on the type of dance that is being done.

Many folk dances are done in circles or lines, and some have specific patterns that must be followed. Folk dances are often passed down from generation to generation, and they often have special meanings or traditions associated with them.

Folk dances are usually performed by people of all ages, and they are often done at celebrations or festivals. Folk dances can be performed indoors or outdoors, and they do not require any special equipment or clothing.

History of Folk Dance Music

Dance has always been an important part of human culture and history. Folk dances are especially significant because they often reflect the traditions and values of a community.

Folk dance music is a genre that encompasses a wide range of styles, from traditional folk dances to more modern, contemporary ones. While some folk dancers prefer to stick to traditional music, others enjoy mixing things up and dancing to different genres. Whether you’re looking for energetic reels or slow-paced waltzes, there’s sure to be a type of folk dance music that gets you moving.

Traditional Folk Dance Music
Traditional folk dance music is rooted in the songs and dances of various cultures around the world. Some well-known traditional folk dances include square dancing, Morris dancing, clogging, and step dancing. This type of music often features lively rhythms and Instrumentation, making it perfect for getting up and dancing.

Contemporary Folk Dance Music
Contemporary folk dance music is heavily influenced by traditional styles but also incorporates elements from other genres, such as pop or rock. This type of music is often more upbeat than traditional folk music and can be great for getting people out on the dance floor. If you’re looking for something a little different than your average waltz or reel, contemporary folk dance music might be just what you need.

Types of Folk Dance Music

Folk dance music varies by country and region, but typically includes a variety of instruments like guitars, drums, and accordions. The rhythms are usually fast-paced and designed to get your feet moving. In this article, we’ll explore some of the different types of folk dance music from around the world.

Traditional Folk Dance Music

Traditional folk dance music is a genre of music typically played at folk dances such as square dances, contra dances and line dances. The music is often called “traditional” or “trad” for short, and is sometimes Dancing can be a great way to exercise, socialize, and enjoy yourself. But what kind of music should you dance to?

There are many different genres of folk dance music, each with its own distinct style. Some common genres include traditional Celtic music, American old-time music, English country dancing music, Swedish polka, and more.

Celtic music is a genre of folk music that originated in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany. It is characterized by its use of traditional instruments such as the fiddle, tin whistle, bagpipes and accordion. Celtic music often has a fast tempo and is great for energetic dancing.

American old-time music is a genre of folk music that developed in the southern United States in the late 19th century. It is characterized by its use of fiddles, banjos and guitars. Old-time music often has a slower tempo and is perfect for slower-paced dances such as square dancing.

English country dancingmusic is a genre of folk music that developed in England in the 17th century. It is characterized by its use of violins and other string instruments. Country dancing often has moderate tempo and can be danced either solo or with partners.

Finally, Swedish polkais a genre of folk dance music that originated in Sweden in the 19th century. It is characterized by its use of fiddles and accordions. Polka often has a fast tempo and can be quite lively when danced solo or with partners.”

Contemporary Folk Dance Music

Contemporary folk music refers to a wide variety of genres that emerged in the mid 20th century and continued to develop in the 21st. It takes its roots from traditional folk music and related styles, including country music, blues, bluegrass and Appalachian music. While there are many different subgenres of contemporary folk music, some common features include use of traditional instruments (like acoustic guitar, banjo and fiddle), verses and choruses, as well as political or social commentary.

Where to Find Folk Dance Music

Folk dance music can be enjoyed both live and recorded. While live music is the best way to experience the energy and joy of dancing, recorded music has the advantage of being more portable and easier to find. Here are some ways to find recorded folk dance music to get you moving.

Traditional Sources of Folk Dance Music

Folk dance music is usually traditional music, created and performed by culturally indigenous people, that has been passed down through the generations by oral tradition. Folk dance music varies widely from culture to culture and even within regions of the same country.

In Europe, folk dances were often danced to folk music, which was specially composed for particular dances. This type of folk dance music was particularly popular in the Balkans and other parts of Eastern Europe. In contrast, English country dancing and Scottish Highland dancing were danced to a wide variety of ballad tunes, contra dance tunes and quadrilles.

North American folk dances are often danced to old-time music, square dance calls, contra dance calls or cajun/zydeco music. Mexico has a rich tradition of folk dances that are often accompanied by Mariachi bands or trobadour singers.

There are also many different types of Asian folk dances, each with its own traditional accompanying music. For example, Japanese Bon Odori dances are traditionally accompanied by taiko drums and shamisen music, while Philippine Tinikling dances are accompanied by bamboo sticks being hit together.

Folk Dance Music From Around the World
-Europe: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia Scotland , Spain , Switzerland , Turkey , Ukraine
-North America: Canada (Québec), Canada ( metadata ), United States
-Central America: Cuba , Mexico
-South America: Argentina , Bolivia , Brazil , Chile , Colombia , Ecuador , Peru , Venezuela
-Africa: Algeria , Angola , Benin , Burkina Faso , Burundi , Cameroon , Cape Verde Islands , Chad | Congo (Brazzaville) | Democratic Republic of Congo | Djibouti | Egypt | Equatorial Guinea | Eritrea | Ethiopia | Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Ivory Coast Kenya Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Rwanda Saint Helena Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Togo Tunisia Uganda Western Sahara Zaire Zambia Zimbabwe
-Asia & Oceania: Australia & New Zealand | Brunei Darussalam Cambodia China Christmas Island Fiji French Polynesia Guam Hawaii Indonesia Iraq Japan Kazakhstan Kiribati Kuwait Laos Lebanon Malaysia Maldives Marshall Islands Micronesia Mongolia Nauru Nepal New Caledonia Niue Northern Mariana Islands Oman Palau Papua New Guinea Philippines Pitcairn Samoa Solomon Islands South Korea Taiwan Thailand Timor Leste Tokelau Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu Wallis & Futuna

Contemporary Sources of Folk Dance Music

You don’t have to look far to find contemporary sources of folk dance music. In addition to traditional folk music played on acoustic instruments, you can also find plenty of modern renditions that use electric guitars, drums, and other contemporary instruments. Here are a few places to find contemporary folk dance music.

-Online radio stations: There are several online radio stations that specialize in folk music from around the world. You can usually find a station that covers the type of music you’re interested in dancing to.
-YouTube: YouTube is a great resource for finding folk dance music. You can find both traditional and contemporary versions of songs, as well as videos of people dancing to the music.
-Spotify: Spotify is a popular streaming service that has a large selection of folk dance music. You can create your own playlists or listen to ones created by others.
-iTunes: iTunes also has a large selection of folk dance music, both traditional and contemporary. You can buy individual songs or albums, or listen to them for free with ads.


Now that you know a bit more about folk dance music, we hope you’ll be inspired to get up and start dancing! Whether you’re at a festival or just in your living room, folk dances are a great way to have fun, get some exercise, and connect with other people. So put on some music and let yourself go!

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