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Music Fundamentals for Dance eBook With Web Resource

Music Fundamentals for Dance eBook With Web Resource


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    Music Fundamentals for Dance provides students with a fundamental understanding of music and how it applies to dance performance, composition, and teaching. This valuable reference helps professional choreographers, dance educators, and dancers expand their knowledge of music and understand the relationships between music and dance.

    Music Fundamentals for Dance helps dancers understand of the elements of music—form and structure, musical time, melody, texture, and score reading—and how they relate to dance performance and choreography. They will learn music vocabulary for easier communication with other dancers, musicians, and conductors. Overviews of musical forms, styles, and genres are complemented by an examination of their relation to dance and choreography.

    Each chapter ends with exercises, activities, and projects that offer students a range of active learning experiences to connect music fundamentals to their dance training. An accompanying web resource contains these features:

    • Extended learning activities and support materials, including practice opportunities combining music skills with dance or choreography, chapter summaries, a glossary, websites, and handouts to help students practice music skills

    • Music clips on the website offer ready-made examples, which students can use in applying concepts from the book

    Written by an experienced dance educator, dancer, and choreographer, Music Fundamentals for Dance is the only current text that explains essential concepts of music and examines these concepts in relation to dance performance, composition, and teaching. By providing readers with a foundation of music knowledge, Music Fundamentals for Dance assists both future and current professionals in understanding the art form that will enhance their contributions as performers, choreographers, and educators.


    Text for undergraduate and high school dance courses. Supplemental text for dance composition or dance methods courses. Reference for dancers, choreographers, and dance educators.

    Table of Contents


    Chapter 1. Basic Concepts of Music and Notation
    Note and Rests
    Terms and Symbols of Expression

    Chapter 2. Elements of Musical Time
    Defining the Elements of Musical Time
    Note Value

    Chapter 3. Elements of Melody
    Two Types of Melody
    Melodic Characteristics
    Melodic Structure
    Cadences of Melodic Phrases
    Climaxes of Melodic Phrases

    Chapter 4. Texture
    Three Types of Musical Texture
    Counterpoint and Contrapuntal Devices

    Chapter 5. Reading Music Scores
    Definition of Music Score
    Value of Reading Scores
    Solo Instrument or Vocal Score
    Piano Scores
    Scores for Two or More Instruments or Voices
    Other Types of Scores

    Chapter 6. Form and Structure
    Understanding Musical Form
    Repetition and Contrast
    Binary Forms
    Ternary Forms
    Variation Forms

    References and Resources
    About the Author

    About the Author

    Nola Nolen Holland, MFA, is an assistant professor in the department of dance at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. For 10 years Nolen Holland taught courses in music for dance. Her search for a music text written specifically for dancers led her to create Music Fundamentals for Dance.

    An experienced dancer, dance educator, and choreographer, Nolen Holland danced with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and has initiated several composer collaborations in order to develop original music for her dance works. She is president of CORPS de Ballet International, Inc., a professional organization for ballet teachers in higher education.

    Recognition for Nolen Holland’s choreography includes presentation of her work at the 1992 American College Dance Festival National Gala; the 1994 5th Biennial International University Dance Festival at the Université Lumière in Lyon, France; and the 2007 International Dance Alliance Festival in Chennai, India.


    All ancillary materials for this text are FREE to course adopters and available online at

    Web resource. Contains chapter summaries, glossary terms and definitions, web links, extended learning activities, and worksheets to aid students in understanding music theory.