A tune used mostly for dancing. The Hebrew term is likely a translation of the earlier Yiddish terms, such as tants nign or a tenzl. Other terms for dance tunes are: hopke; dreidl; redl or redele (all probably used by Polish hassidim); freylekhs; and kadatshke (used in various communities). Hassidic dance tunes have defined musical characteristics such as duple meter and fast tempi (metronome 116-168). They also use fixed forms, such as: monosectional (A), bisectional (AB), trisectional (ABC), and the forms ABCB, ABCDB, and ABCDC. Klezmer dance tunes have a more compound structure with more sections including the Rondo structure (sound examples 1-4).
Hassidic dance tunes can be divided into two groups: tunes with texts and tunes without texts. These tunes, compared to those of other genres (ie. devekut niggunim, marches, valses), generally have fixed texts which are performed mostly at weddings and at rejoicing festivals such as Simhat Torah and Lag Ba'omer (sound example 5). Tish gatherings often end with a dance tune (sound example 6). Tunes without texts that are not usually connected to specific holidays or events may be sung during the Sabbath, and during Festival services to texts such as "Lo Tevoshi" (from "Lekha Dodi") and the Kaddish titqabel.
See also Tants nign in the Lexicon of Klezmer Terminology (LKT).
See Vinaver-Schleifer, Anthology of Hassidic music, p. 240; see also Moshe Beregovski, Jewish Instrumental Folk Music, 2001, no. 85, 102.
Dance tune in rondo form, performed in the Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai tomb during the Hilula of Moshe Rabenu. Performer: M. Berlin and band. Recorder: Andre Hajdu. Meron, Israel, 20.3.1967. NSA 565.