Music Resources

A guide to the music and music resources published by the RAD, with direct links to our online shop.

Syllabus Books

Even if you do not play for RAD ballet classes, you may find these music books useful as a guide to the kind of repertoire and dance styles you can use for ballet classes generally. In the Graded Syllabus from Pre-Primary to Grade 5, each exercise has two contrasting pieces of music. In the newer Vocational Graded Syllabus books (Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced Foundation Male and Female, Advanced 1 Female, Advanced 2 Female), there is a section containing 10–15 pieces music that can be used for allegro exercises. All the music in these books is from the concert, light classical or ballet repertoire, rather than improvisations or new compositions.

This CD contains music from Hungary, Ukraine and Russia that can be used for teaching character dance, played by a folk group using traditional instruments typical for those regions.

Each of these CDs has over an hour of music for ballet classes, with no repeated tracks. The music ranges from popular classics, chansons, folk music and show tunes, with full information about composers, titles and publishers inside the inlay booklet. The variety of styles, periods, rhythms and tempi provide a range of templates and ideas for creating new exercises, or short dances.

Alternative Music for Grades 1–5 (discontinued, but still available at a discount)
Although these books relate to the previous Grades 1–3 and 4 & 5 syllabi, the music books may be valuable sources of repertoire for new pianists. Together they contain 177 pieces from the concert, ballet and folk-dance repertoire.

Online Inlay Books

When we came to reprint the CDs for Grades 6, 7 and 8, we decided to include much more detailed information about the music in the inlay booklets. If you have earlier editions of the CDs, you can still download inlay booklets with the music information in them. You can use these for locating recordings of orchestral versions of the music, or for providing students with interesting context to the music they are dancing to, and the ballets and musical works that it came from.

Dance Class Tunebook
Dance Class Tunebook is a collection of music that can be used for imaginative music sequences for young children and is a companion volume to RAD Pre-Primary and Primary in Dance. Each page is a keyboard version of the music on CD2 of the Pre-Primary syllabus pack. Contains:

  • Brief explanations of why each piece was chosen.
  • An article on improvisation for children’s classes.
  • Suggestions for using electronic keyboards, live music and music technology creatively.
  • CD of all the music in the book, and backing tracks for folk tunes from the Pre-Primary syllabus music.
  • Toplines for solo instruments for folk tunes.

After Class CDs

After Class volumes 1 and 2 contain full length versions of some of the music you often hear only in short excerpts in ballet classes, or classical music that has a strong dance element. You can listen to them just for pleasure, or use them for choreography.

Music in Focus Guidebooks

Although these guidebooks relate to the previous syllabus for Grades 1–5 which has now been replaced, there are some useful articles on music for character and dance rhythms in the ballet class that trainee dance teachers may find helpful. Free download.


Want to learn more about music licensing for Royal Academy of Dance members? Click here to learn about our partnership with OneMusic and how you can quickly, easily and affordably license all of your favourite music.

*OneMusic licence is required with RAD Syllabus music