Piano workshop -- Bear Hug camp September 2015

This page collects materials from a workshop on contra dance piano at the Bear Hug dance weekend (Flathead Lake, MT), on September 12, 2015.

But first: a set of tunes from the weekend.

An electronic handout and a brief outline of the presentation.

Some philosophy

This workshop is written from the perspective of a contra dancer who wanted to learn to play. It has materials interesting to three groups: non-musicians (or pre-musicians) who want to learn to play for dances; musicians who want to better understand the requirements of playing for dances; and, perhaps most important, dancers who want to better appreciate the role that the music plays in making these dances so exciting.

More on this vein in a separate page.

"Techno contra" -- caller with iPod -- is all the rage nowadays in modern contra dancing. Recorded music! If we live musicians can't out-shine techno, we have no business playing for dancers.

The "book"

Music examples

Illustrative excerpts:

Specific topics


From a popular rock song:

Full-length versions (where available):

The rest of these examples (except one...) have me in there somewhere. Examples from earlier workshops:
Back to the main Piano page.
12 September 2015