Musicality is a noun that means sensitivity to, knowledge of, or talent for music. The word also refers to the quality or state of being musical (aka melodiousness.) A musical person has the ability to perceive differences in pitch, rhythm and harmonies. One usually differentiates between three types of musicality: To be able to perceive music (musical receptivity), to be able to reproduce music as well as creating music (musical creativity).

Musicality may also refer to fitting a dance to the music being played, with the goal of relating the dance to the music's rhythm, melody, and mood. Dancers usually step on the beats of the music, and may vary the size of their movements with the volume of the music. This is especially true in choreography, where dancers plan a routine of dance moves, sometimes with a specific song in mind. This is also a key characteristic of improvised swing dancing. Unlike most ballroom dances which tend to use the music as a metronome to guide the dance, Lindy Hop and West Coast swing view matching your dancing to the spirit/mood of the music is the highest goal achievable.


Tempo: Slower music gives dancers more time to play, more time for style and variations. Faster music forces dancers to be more creative in their application of style, or possibly use simpler variations depending on the skill of the dancer.

Follow: Follow may mirror the lead with her arm, feet, and head styling, or she may do the opposite of the lead, or she can do something independent of the lead.

Footwork: For advanced dancers, footwork is largely independent of body work. Except for needing to move, which foot moves is unimportant. Advanced dancers can do any kind of footwork. The footwork is open to any interpretation.

Song Structure: Certain types of music have a regular structure, which an experienced dancer can frame his or her moves around. For example, the chorus in some swing music consists of 32 bars, which follows an AABA structure, where each letter consists of four 8-count sections and the B letter has a different melody. The fourth 8-count section of each letter is often an ideal time to execute a break. Other songs have six 8-count sections followed by a chorus of four 8-count sections. "In The Mood" from Glenn Miller is a good example of this type of structure.

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