Music and movement

Kadinsky movement

In a study done by Anthony Storr when subjects were asked not to move to music, it was found that readings on the electro-myograph show increases in “electrical activity in the leg muscles whilst listening to music, even when the subject has been told not to move”. (Storr 1992) This is interesting to note, that even in the absence of physical movement, there are impulses within the body that are generated whenever music is being listened to.

Storr indicated further that:

“The basic ingredient of music is not so much sound as movement….  I would even go a step further, and say that music is significant for us as human beings principally because it embodies movement of a specifically human type that goes to the roots of our being and takes shape in the inner gestures which embody our deepest and most intimate responses”. (Storr 1992)

Friedrich Nietzsche was deeply interested in music and he spoke of the driving power of music:

“He also spoke of the ”dynamic” or propulsive powers of music- its ability to elicit, to drive, and to regulate movement. Rhythm, he felt, could propel and articulate the stream of movement (and the stream of emotion and thought, which he saw as no less dynamic or motoric than the purely muscular). And rhythmic vitality and exuberance, he thought, expressed itself most naturally in the form of dance. He called his own philosophizing “dancing in chains” and thought the strongly rhythmic music of Bizet as ideally suited to this. He would often take his notebook to Bizet concerts; he wrote, “Bizet makes me a better philosopher”. (Sacks 2008)

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