American Square Dances of The West
& Southwest - online instruction book

With Calls, instructions, diagrams, steps & sheet music

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The proper tempo for the Square Dance, with the exception of the Waltz Quadrilles, is from 128 to 136 beats per minute. The Waltz Quadrilles use %-time music played in fast waltz rhythm, 136 to 144 beats per minute. These tempos are stand­ard throughout the United States with a few exceptions where the style of dancing in these particular localities require either faster or slower music. For example: Colorado dancers use a fast, gliding walk with no two-steps or "catch steps," and their music is played at the rate of from 136 to 144 beats per minute. In upper New York State the music is from 120 to 128 beats per minute, but the dance is fast, for the dancers use an almost constant jig or clog step while dancing. The preferred tempo for general use is from 128 to 136 beats per minute, whether the caller uses patter, chanting, prompt, or singing calls.
This book deals with the typical and distinctive Square Dances of the West and Southwest. The singing calls are not presented here except for the Waltz Quadrille, for the singing calls have a tradition and style all their own, based upon the formal Quadrille without the Western variations and developments. They are given a separate presentation, with their own technique of calling and dancing, in American Square Dance Singing Calk, by Lee Owens, with music arranged by Viola Ruth, now in preparation.
The finest published work on Western Square Dance music is Pioneer Western Folk Tunes privately published by Viola Ruth, 1530 West Garfield, Phoenix, Arizona. This volume contains 153 Round and Square Dance tunes for the fiddle, written in typical Western style and phrasing by Mrs. Ruth, who is widely known as "Mom" Ruth, Arizona's undefeated champion fiddler, and acknowledged to be one of the nation's