Motion Gesture Music

Research on Music and Movement

Music moves us, not just metaphorically, but also through, with and by the body.
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In investigations into affective elements of movement in music performance the two methods of psychological evaluation and quantitative analysis have become a tandem that seems to produce usable results [31, 4, 5]. In addition, the ‘enactive’ and embodied points of view [41] are reinforced by neuro-scientific advances in defining the interrelationship between the motor and the auditory systems [35], an interconnection which is in a state of resonance when performing, watching and listening to music. Even more cross-disciplinary implications are summed up by Johnson, when he states: “Music exists at the intersection of organised sounds with our sensorimotor apparatus, our bodies, our brains, our cultural values and practices, music-historical conventions, our prior experiences, and a host of other social and cultural factors. Consequently, musical motion is really experienced by us, albeit via our imaginative structuring of sounds.” [22, p. 255] Within musical perception the processes we are affected by, perceive and act out are dynamic chains, i.e. streams [40] of sound- objects as well as action/sound pairs or multi-modal ‘gestural sonorous objects’ [15]. These elements form “segregated streams and objects that lead, via the subjective sensing of the subject’s body motion, to impressions of movement, gesture, tensions, and release of tension.” [24] When considering concepts such as embodiment, it becomes clear, that the effects of inner body perception through kinaesthetic and somatic senses are part of the perceptual elements that contribute to affective and emotional responses. They provide the basis for the performer’s as well as the audience’s state during music perception [36]. The extended situation of music performing and listening is intrinsically inter-individual and contains more social and psychological implications on an affective level, than the cognitivist account that prevails in music research and music psychology relates [30].
From “Music Means Movement”, 2015
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