By John Scherch

Some of the most well-known forms of composition in classical music are of dance music from the pieces’ time. A Bach suite (which he wrote very many of), for example, would contain dances such as an  allemande  (a French German-style dance), a  courante  (a triple meter dance often following an allemande in a Baroque suite), a  sarabande  (another triple meter dance), a  minuet  (triple meter again), a  gigue  (based on an Irish jig), a  passepied … the list goes on. Many of these styles of dances would be used well beyond the Baroque period by many different composers. Another very prominent example is, of course, the waltz, a popular Viennese dance kept especially famous by Johann Strauss Jr. among many others, and the annual New Year’s Concert held in Vienna where much of his and his contemporaries’ music is used to ring in the new year.

One might think, then, that classical composers today might still incorporate dance themes in their music, and perhaps of their time (they do, but we’ll get to that)... Read more here