Ballroom Dance Music in Thai society


  • Kamontam Kuabutr College of Music, Mahidol University, Nakhonpathom
  • Poonpit Amatyakul College of Music, Mahidol University, Nakhonpathom


This historical qualitative research on music aimed to study the history and development of Western ballroom dance music in Thailand in order to find the relationship between the music and Thai society and culture. The research revealed that ballroom dance music was a Western entertainment culture introduced to Thailand during the reign of King Rama III. According to the memo written in 1840 by a European named Frederick Arthur Neale, there was a dinner party in Wang Na (the palace of the viceking) which European ballroom dance was included. Because of trading and diplomatic progression, Thailand and Western countries did develop their relationship. There were journeys between the two territories, brass bands created by foreign soldiers, and the invention of ballroom dance musical ensemble during the reign of King Rama V. Up to the reign of King Rama VII, many Thai students pursued their education in foreign countries of both Europe and America, which made them experienced more of Western music performances. Among these students was Luang Sukhumnaipradit who became the very important person of ballroom dance music in Jazz style. These factors made great progression in ballroom dance music and resulted in the invention of big bands. There were many skillful musicians and song writers such as Uea Sunthonsanan, Luan Khwantham and Kaew Achariyakul who became famous during this period of time. Moreover, nightclubs and sound recording businesses were the important stimulants to the popularity of ballroom dance music. There was also a Thai-style ballroom dance rhythm named Taloong Tempo. However, the development in technologies changed the taste of popular music and decreased the importance of ballroom dance music. The ballroom dance music, nevertheless, is still buried itself inside Thailand’s entertainment culture and moves together unceasingly with the cultural waves.




How to Cite

Kuabutr, K., & Amatyakul, P. (2015). Ballroom Dance Music in Thai society. Fine Arts Journal: Srinakharinwirot University, 18(2), 182–190. Retrieved from