Österreichisches VolksLiedWerk
Volksmusikland Österreich

The name of this popular dance originates with the German word "waltzen", which means wandering. It goes back to German and Austrian peasant dances, the Laendler, the Allemande (German) and the Langaus (two-step with rotation) in the 18th century. Gradually, the German form, and thus couples rotating about their own axis was adopted into urban dancing. The accentuated ¾ time oscillating rotations of the couples at the start of the 19th century meant freeing oneself from the constraints of dances typical of the nobility and wealthy classes. It is above all due to composers such as Johann Strauss the elder and younger, but also to Josef Lanner or the Schrammel Brothers, that the waltz developed into a style that is typically identifiable as Viennese. The Viennese Congress 1814/1815 saw the start of the Viennese waltz's path to conquering the world, in the course of which it ousted the minuet (the German style) in the higher social classes. Compared to classical dancing, the posture of folk dancing is less strict. Folk dances such as the "Ice waltz" or "New German" combine various sequences of steps with the waltz.

Concert waltzes and waltzing songs in popular music, operetta and opera have developed into categories of music history.