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Modern Dance - General
For people looking for songs to use (karma: 4)
By heartzjoymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 703, member since Fri Aug 20, 2004
On Fri May 27, 2005 10:24 PM
Edited by heartzjoy (103988) on 2005-05-27 22:23:36
Made sticky by MIClogger (28613) on 2005-05-28 10:33:25

I like that this page is helpful to so many people, but I've noticed that people are asking for songs a lot. The thing about modern dance is that A) the music could be anything B)it can be done in silence C) it could be done to a poem or a live drummer, or even just spoken text.

My point is modern dance is so flexible and I think it would be helpful if you were really specific as in:

Wanting a song for a solo is too broad a topic! Please let us know the mood of the piece, the theme, who is your audience (do the lyrics need to be altered or cut?) is is literal or abstract, is it fast or slow that you want, soft or loud, specific style you want (drumming, jazz, rock), something, anything.

Do a little research online and play song samples on iTunes or Amazon, listen to random CDs you haven't listened to in awhile, borrow music from friends, go to a music store and listen to CDs with those headphones. Oh, and I love buying those cheap CDs from Wal-Mart that have like 30 classical composers' music on them. You get a bunch of music that often was written for dance and to evoke emotion without lyrics. And go ethnic! Try music from international sources and live a little, think outside of the box. Lastly, try renting dance videos or DVDs. You can see Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, and many other great modern dancers and get inspired. I know these discs exist, they are on Netflix.

Happy hunting.

85 Replies to For people looking for songs to use

re: For people looking for songs to use
By e_hefley Comments: 51, member since Mon May 02, 2005
On Sat May 28, 2005 12:57 AM
I agree. I often start with no music and let the movement tell the story. Then i can tell which type of music is needed whether it is an original composition with a musician, a jazz selection, simple piano or drumming.
re: For people looking for songs to use
By addicted2danze Comments: 295, member since Sat Apr 05, 2003
On Mon Jun 27, 2005 07:58 PM
I was just about to post something along the same line. I've seen so many pieces A. without any music or B. choregraphed first and the music is just another layer of the movement. Both quite powerful!
re: For people looking for songs to use
By TwinkleSparkle Comments: 8, member since Sat May 14, 2005
On Tue Jul 12, 2005 09:11 AM
thank you I will take your comments on board
re: For people looking for songs to use
By dancin445 Comments: 21, member since Wed Jul 13, 2005
On Wed Jul 20, 2005 02:56 PM
I also always start figuring out the dance first, and then end up putting the music to the movement, instead of dancing/moving to the music. I guess i kind of work backwards. But modern has such a large variety of things that can be done with it becuase it has so many different styles. But just dance how you feel and the music will come to you!
re: For people looking for songs to use
By tappergurl Comments: 123, member since Tue Feb 01, 2005
On Fri Jul 22, 2005 08:09 PM
Hmm.. Good thing I read this first, I was going to post about needing a song, however, I think I will try your tips numero uno.
~Mia~
True
By mishelliedancer Comments: 29, member since Thu Jul 28, 2005
On Thu Jul 28, 2005 04:53 PM
I have been looking at Itunes for a while now... how do you go about looking through it?
re: For people looking for songs to use
By dancinschatz Comments: 77, member since Sun Mar 06, 2005
On Tue Aug 09, 2005 02:58 PM
A lot of times, music can inspire you to create. So, I woudn't disount using music as a source of inspiration when you're just beginning a new project. Actually, music wors well to stimulate your mind, and you can work choreographically off of the mood or rhythm of the music, or movement you might think of when you listen to it.

However, I have found in the past that the song that inspires me limits me if I try to set choreography to it. And I have ALWAYS ended up using a different piece of music etc to set my choreography to. So don't feel trapped by a semi-
"loyalty" to a musical piece just because it gives you inspiration. Experiment, and find the accompaniment that is best for the choreography because that's the focus of dance.
re: For people looking for songs to use
By Freakodance Comments: 78, member since Fri Aug 19, 2005
On Sat Aug 20, 2005 10:28 AM
Some of my favorite modern dance bands (my opinion of course there are many others) Afro Celt Sound System, Blueman, The Circus Ola music.....emo kinda stuff can be fun too!!! expieriment take a song you like and just go with it, if its a flop try somthing else it never hurts to try!
"Songs" vs. Music
By TheWinged Comments: 315, member since Tue Mar 05, 2002
On Tue Aug 23, 2005 06:38 AM
Okay- a pet peeve of mine- when I teach choreography, I NEVER allow my students to use texted music, i.e. songs! I don't want them to be limited by the ideas of another artist called- the lyricist! There is such a vast and amazing world of choices out there, once you get past the idea of working only with songs! BTW, Bach, Debussy and Gershwin wrote songs, too. They're also off limits for the beginning dance creators, LOL

PLEASE try and work with music that can be a true partner to your work and not your master! ;o>
re: For people looking for songs to use
By Deva_D18 Comments: 35, member since Wed Jul 20, 2005
On Mon Aug 29, 2005 01:11 PM
I don't know what type of music I use at times, but a lot of modern routines I have composed come from cirque du soleil. The music is a lot of beat and drumming, its awesome so check it out

Stephanie
iTunes tutorial
By heartzjoymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 703, member since Fri Aug 20, 2004
On Mon Aug 29, 2005 03:07 PM
Go to iTunes found at apple.com/itunes on the web.

Download the iTunes program for Windows or Mac platform. Once the progam is installed on your computer, open it up and click on Store on the left hand side of the console. Once the store loads, you can search the music store by artist, genre, etc. Try looking at world music, inspirational, or anything that you may not usually listen to so you can get an idea of what's out there. Once you find something interesting, click on the song and you can hear a preview before you add it to your cart to pay for it.

I hope this helps. PM me if you need more help.
re: For people looking for songs to use
By barrefly Comments: 682, member since Sun Apr 18, 2004
On Mon Oct 03, 2005 08:59 PM
Edited by barrefly (90848) on 2005-10-03 21:04:20
Edited by barrefly (90848) on 2005-10-03 21:04:37
Edited by barrefly (90848) on 2005-10-03 21:06:06
Edited by barrefly (90848) on 2005-10-03 21:06:34
I always thought that dancing to oration, or poetry would be really cool, especially when there is long pauses between the words and sentences.

I often find myself inside myself,.... no one cares,.....no one even sees me.... except my neighbor.... I must not forget to feed the dog.... Pepper is really a kind animal, he should be given my full attention.... I deserve attention.... my neighbor does not deserve attention....he always stares at me when I'm inside myself.
Dance.net shorten it, but the ... are long pauses. You can even add sounds from life like a clock ticking, or the sound of a joggers breathing, or Pepper panting and doors opening and closing.
re: For people looking for songs to use
By getwhatyouneedmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 133, member since Sat Mar 05, 2005
On Thu Oct 06, 2005 01:22 PM
Does anyone have some suggestions of songs to use for a beginner, first year doing modern? Since it's my first year, I'd like to find a song instead of creating something etc.
re: For people looking for songs to use
By balletshoes91 Comments: 60, member since Mon Aug 15, 2005
On Sun Oct 09, 2005 07:37 PM
Thanks for all the info the music we have in our modern class is really boring.
Re: Getwhatyouneed question
By heartzjoymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 703, member since Fri Aug 20, 2004
On Mon Oct 10, 2005 08:00 AM
Getwhatyouneed:

just as I said in the first post, listen to music you have, and new things, find a song you like and work with it. Outside of music written for warm-ups to be in specific counts, no music is specifically for modern, just work with what you like, and don't be afraid to get rid of it if it doesn't work for you.
re: For people looking for songs to use
By tuttifruttymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1093, member since Sat Mar 26, 2005
On Thu Oct 13, 2005 08:17 PM
Hi, I don't know if this is the right place to do this but I thought the post was to recommend songs :? So please remove it if its not in the right place

I wanted to recommend *heaven* by satoshi tomiie , its a soul slow song, but a studio of modern/contemporary dance used it and I totally fell in love with it :)
MUSIC for modern
By TheWinged Comments: 315, member since Tue Mar 05, 2002
On Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:23 PM
Please guys, before you go for the "songs", go for non-texted music. True, there are times that songs are used: Twyla Tharp did a suite to Sinatra music; Ailey and Donald McKayle certainly made wonderful use of Black gospel music ("Revelations", "Rainbow Round My Shoulder"), but these are/were professional, experienced choreographers....and most of even their music choices were non-texted! The words to a song make very limiting demands on the creative artist and your imaginations are stifled by them.
There is sooooo much amazing, varied, rich, exciting, inspirational music to choose from, please try reaching a bit and don't fall into the "song" trap!
Okay, my $2.00 (inflation...LOL)
re: For people looking for songs to use
By Katarina2 Comments: 26, member since Wed Jun 16, 2004
On Sat Oct 15, 2005 04:48 PM
In modern dance you can dance to any sound you whant.
Even silence, as you said. :)
Thats why I love modern, I can express my self with anything
and how ever I whant ! :D
Expressing yourself
By TheWinged Comments: 315, member since Tue Mar 05, 2002
On Sun Oct 16, 2005 07:51 AM
I hope I don't come off sounding like a "broken record", but you cannot express YOURself when using the words of another artist. You're obligated to express or complement or pay heed somehow to his/her inspiration....NOT YOURS!

If I use, Tori Amos's "Little Earthquakes", I gotta go with her ideas, her mood. Otherwise, I'm being abusive of her work.

In order to free myself, I'll find a composer whose music falls in line with my concept. Of course, ideally, working with a composer (which I've happily done) is wonderful but not always. You can conflict with your musical partner and then where are you?!

Anyhoo, there are 100's of yeaqrs of great music to choose from....Highly recommended! :O>
re: For people looking for songs to use
By dancingtoes27 Comments: 58, member since Thu Oct 20, 2005
On Wed Nov 02, 2005 09:34 PM
One of my teachers at my SI did a modern dance to the heart beat. He showed us...wow...it was amazing!

dancingtoes
Heartbeat
By TheWinged Comments: 315, member since Tue Mar 05, 2002
On Wed Nov 02, 2005 11:55 PM
Funny but true story: tech rehearsal, running the music, spacing, setting lights, etc., my solo, "Precipice" comes up (we live our lives on a series of high cliffs overlooking the....)- and NO MUSIC!!! The master tape shows nothing! What the hay happened to the Wolpe (or Feldman- I don't even remember anymore)?! We're all tired and want to finish the session, so it's suggested I run the dance sans music. I have a bit of a cold, so my breathing is quite audible during my "silent" performance. I finish and there is dead silence in the theater. Puzzled, I try to see beyo9nd the lights as to what's happening. Then, one of my dancers explodes into veiw says, "That was amazing! Don't us emusic- Your breathing and almost palpable heartbeat are incredibly accompaniment to this dance".
To this day, "Precipice" is performed with the natural sounds of the dancer. :0>
re: For people looking for songs to use
By heartzjoymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 703, member since Fri Aug 20, 2004
On Thu Nov 03, 2005 06:34 AM
The Winged:
That's awesome! Randy James Dance Works has a section in the piece "Unknown Horizon" where the dancers are in silence and stillness and just the sounds of the breathing rythyms and moving across the floor adds to the strength and beauty of the dancing. I totally love when dancers get to a point where they are free and not "slaves to the music"- which one of our mother's of modern said in her book about creating dance. I think it was Isadora Duncan?
re: For people looking for songs to use
By cheekybum2000 Comments: 21, member since Wed Apr 27, 2005
On Fri Nov 25, 2005 06:54 PM
In my modern class, we always warm up to The String Quartet, Tribute To Nirvana. The song on the CD are amazing! I recommend anything by The String Quartet.
re: For people looking for songs to use
By polly2004 Comments: 2, member since Wed Apr 14, 2004
On Thu Dec 01, 2005 03:35 PM
hello
i was just wondering wether it is possible to get a contemporary style piece of music. if so would you be able to send me a few pieces please .


thanx sarah xxx
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