Square Dance History Project
The rich story of North American square dance finally has a home in the digital age.

MWSD Calling Styles - matching voice to music

As modern square dancing developed in the middle of the 20th Century one of its characteristics was the increased use of music in the delivery of the call. As Tony Parkes points out in his short history of singing calls on this site, singing calls had been introduced in traditional square dancing before World War II. While traditional squares relied on live music, modern square dancing (MWSD) made much wider use of recorded music and the availability of music grew rapidly.

The musical taste and ability of MWSD callers varied substantially and the musicality of the callers’ use of their voice also varied. This collection of short clips of calling by a substantial group of early MWSD callers illustrates many different ways of matching the voice with the music in both patter and singing calls. Rather that using commercial releases, the audio clips in this exhibit are taken from live recordings.


created by Jim Mayo, August, 2014