Folk Dance Music: The Best Instrumentals

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some great instrumentals to add to your folk dance music collection? Check out our top picks – perfect for getting your feet moving!

What is folk dance music?

Folk dance music is music accompanying traditional dance and may be contrasted with historical, classical, or popular music. Folk dances are dances that are developed by people that reflect the life of the people of a certain country or region. Not all folk dances need music, but when they do, the music is often folk music. Folk dance music is any type of music played to accompany folk dancing. It can be created for any type of folk dance and any type of dancer, from very young children to adults, amateurs or professionals.

The best folk dance instrumentals

Folk dance music can be both upbeat and festive, or slow and romantic. It is a genre that encompasses a wide range of styles, making it the perfect choice for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for something to get your feet moving or something to set the mood, there is a folk dance instrumental that will fit the bill.

“The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin

“The Entertainer” is a 1902 classic piano rag written by Scott Joplin. It was one of the first Ragtime pieces to achieve mainstream popularity and remains one of the best-known Ragtime tunes today. The piece was used as the theme music for the 1973 film The Sting, which won an Academy Award for Best Picture.

“The Liberty Bell” by John Philip Sousa

“The Liberty Bell” is a march by John Philip Sousa, written in 1893. The piece was named after the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It quickly became one of Sousa’s most popular marches during his lifetime and continues to be widely played throughout the United States.

The march starts with a solo cornet playing what later becomes the main melody. This is followed by a statement of the main melody by the full band. After a short transition, the first strain is played by the full band. The second strain features solo work by the piccolo and clarinet. The third strain returns to the opening Solo cornet melody, this time with accompaniment from the rest of the brass section. After a brief transitional section, the repeat of the first strain is played. The final section features solo work from all of the melodic instruments in the band before finishing with a loud chord from the entire ensemble.

“The Yellow Rose of Texas” by Traditional

First popularized in the minstrel shows of the 1840s, “The Yellow Rose of Texas” quickly became one of the most popular folk songs in the United States. The song is believed to be based on a real woman named Emily D. West, who was taken captive by Mexican soldiers during the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836. She is said to have charmed Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna and helped secure victory for the Texas Army.

The history of folk dance music

Folk dance music is the music accompanying traditional dance and may be contrasted with historical/classical, popular/commercial dance music. Folk dance music is often functional in nature, meaning that it is written specifically to accompany a particular dance. While some folk dances such as square dancing have France to thank for their existence, folk dancing originated in many cultures throughout history. However, many dances and their music have died out over time or have undergone great changes.

How to use folk dance music in your own life

Dancing to folk music is a great way to relax, relieve stress, and enjoy yourself. You don’t need to be a professional dancer or have years of experience to enjoy folk dancing. In fact, learning some basic steps and dances is easy and can be a fun activity for groups or couples.

There are many different types of folk dance, so you can choose the ones that suit your mood or energy level. For example, if you want to relax, you might want to try dances from slower-paced music. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a workout, there are plenty of lively folk dances that will get your heart pumping.

Once you’ve chosen the right music, all you need to do is let loose and have fun. Folk dances are typically easy to follow and don’t require any complicated steps or choreography. Just move your body however you feel comfortable and enjoy the rhythm of the music.

If you want to take your folk dancing to the next level, there are plenty of ways to get involved in the local scene. There are often folk dance classes offered at community centers or dance studios. Or, if you know someone who is experienced in folk dancing, they may be able to teach you some moves or help you find a group to dance with.

Folk dancing is a great way to connect with other people and cultures while also getting some exercise. It’s easy to get started and there’s no wrong way to do it. So put on some cheerful music and start moving – your body and mind will thank you!

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