So the term “danse macabre” goes way, way back. In the medieval tradition, personified Death summoned everybody to the party, from all walks of life, to head over to graves. It’s like when Hamlet asks Horatio at the gravediggers plot if Alexander the Great also looked like these discarded skulls, and they affirm, “Even so.” Here’s a 1493 depiction below.
In this musical depiction by Saint-Saëns, Death is represented by the solo violin. The clock chimes twelve times for midnight, and the dance begins. Then, when the cock crows and morning comes, you can hear them all scatter at the end. I have memories of my mom playing this in orchestra and pointing out all of the narrative parts.
Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!