It is a dance for couples which strongly features hopping and stamping. It was sometimes purely instrumental and sometimes had a vocal part, sometimes featuring yodelling.
When dance halls became popular in Europe in the 19th century, the lšndler was made quicker and more elegant, and the men shed the hobnail boots which they wore to dance it. It is thought to have evolved into the waltz.
A number of classical composers wrote lšndler including Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert. In several of his symphonies Gustav Mahler replaced the scherzo with a lšndler. The Carinthian folk tune quoted in Alban Berg's Violin Concerto is a lšndler, and another features in Act II of his opera Wozzeck. The "German Dances" of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Josef Haydn also resemble lšndler.