Key to the Codes
Zwiefacher Dance Patterns


CodingExplanation of steps
wOne waltz measure, an Oom-pah-pah
pOne pivot measure, an Oom-pah, German Dreher
tTwo-step, Polka step or Alpine Boarisch (done to 2 Oom-pah measures).
You may always dance t as pp, two pivots in place of each two-step.
In Austria pp is far preferred to one t.
SchA full Schottische or Boarisch pattern:
  2(Step-close-step hop) 4(Step hop)   Or you can pivot; 8p to the same beats.
CodingExplanation of brackets
(  )Groups a set of steps, to indicate how they are repeated.
3(wpp) ww is the same as wpp wpp wpp ww, but usually easier to read.
[  ]Also groups a set of steps, usually to indicate how they are repeated.
2[3(wpp) ww] 4w is the same as wpp wpp wpp ww wpp wpp wpp ww 4w.  This takes less space and is a little easier to read.
( [ ] )The choice of brackets was often made to make different repeats more visible when this list is sorted by tune name.  The tune listed as Zipfi-Michi or Sommermichl for example:
2(4pww) 4w 2(4pww) 1[3(wpp)ww] r=3 by Otto Ebner
4(4pww) 4w 2(4pww) 2[3(wpp)ww] r=2 by Brüder Krücki
This pattern also illustrates how some tune names were chosen.  Alphabetically these sort next to a shorter version of the same tune, Zipfi-Michi, with a pattern:
4(4pww) 2(4w 2(4pww)) r=4 by Wasti Fanderl
Hopefully this helps dancers without being much of an abuse of German folklore, as Sommermichl appears to be the most commonly published name of the longer version.
 In a few cases the tune title is followed by an indicator.  This is done when the same tune name has significantly different patterns or melodies.  Example:
Mauskatz (d), Dellnhauser's recording, is different than Mauskatz (p), Pfahlmusik Viechtach's.  The first character of the band's name, in parenthesis, indicates a difference.
CodingExplanation of numbers
numbersAlways indicate repeats of a pattern
r=5After the pattern means the whole dance pattern repeats five times.
r2Means there is something special about the pattern during the second repeat.
5wRepeat the waltz step, 5 times Oom-pah-pah.
3,2,2( )The sequence of steps inside the brackets is repeated 3 times on the first repeat of the whole pattern and twice on the next two repeats.  This example might just mean that the band played a bit of the tune as an introduction.
Usually v and i describe recordings where the band plays extra music between vocal verses to allow the choir to catch their breath.
4i,8v,4v,4i(w)  means the dancers do four waltzes and waltz 4 extra times on the second repeat.  The singers took a breath between verses.  They didn't need one after their final verse.
|The vertical bar sometimes separates options, as when Austrian written directions differ from Bavarian written directions.
In a few complex patterns it separates steps that alternate; pp|w means; dance two pivots on the odd numbered repeats but a single waltz on the even numbered repeats.
Delight in the Zwiefacher, following the changes in the music, or laughing at your own ears and feet as you try.  Some tunes challenge dancers.  They challenge this set of written patterns, too.  There will be errors.
Why do people love a tricky dance like this?  One possibility is the puzzle-like aspect.  Compare the Zwiefacher to the popular Sudoku puzzles.  Sudoku is solved using the eyes, brain and writing hand.  Zwiefacher fans involve their whole body in the puzzle, getting aerobic exercise and enjoying community at the same time.  Nothing in Sudoku matches a partner dance hold, a great substitute for a hug.  Sudoku can be done to your choice of music or silence, while the ears of the Zwiefacher dancer are completely engaged.

I am glad to receive more information about Zwiefacher dances, tunes and names.  Send me email.

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