Music

  • In the past, cloggers danced to music that was quite fast at 135-160 beats per minute.  Steps became more complex and over time the music has slowed to 90-135 beats per minute. The speed of the music depends on the difficulty level and the style of steps (traditional, buck, Canadian, fusion, etc).  
  • Originally, cloggers danced to traditional mountain, fiddle and bluegrass music.  Today dances are choreographed to music from several genres, including country, rock, pop, bluegrass, and Christian.  Check out the many cue sheets online to see the variety of songs chosen by choreographers (links page).  
  • Music is often cut to be 2 to 3 minutes long for contemporary team dances.  Traditional team dances with figures may be up to 8 minutes long.   Duets and solos are often less than 90 seconds long.  Competition rules outline the time limits for each category.   
  • When choosing music to dance to, choreographers look for music with a steady down beat.  Considering the number of times dancers listen to a particular song, it makes sense to choose one with upbeat lyrics and an energetic feel--one you can't help but want to dance to.  Two or more songs are sometimes spliced/mixed together to keep judges and audiences more interested and involved.  

     Tech Tips

  • Some instructors label and sort their dance music according to beats per minute (for example).  They play different songs with appropriate tempos for warm-ups and step practice, giving students more musical variety during lessons.  Sites such as all8 and  songbpm  can be used to find the beats per minute for songs in your music library.  If you can't see the BPM column in iTunes, click 'view', 'show view options', and make sure Beats Per Minute is checked.  
  • Songs can be slowed down or sped up on mp3 players using apps such as the Amazing Slower Downer or on sound systems with variable speed pitch control.
  • Music can be edited (including tempo changes) using the free software Audacity.  
  • If you hear a song you'd like to use, the Shazam app can often be used to identify its title and artist. 


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