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    Bodily response to music

    Hello all,

    I'm teaching a class that will need (get!) to address the ways our bodies respond to rhythm and meter, and would love a few ideas for foundational readings. The students will not be music majors but will know some fundamentals, particularly about rhythm and meter. We also don't have time to get "into the weeds," so to speak, so I'd really like to focus on a few sources. I know about the work of Arnie Cox. I'm interested also in perspectives related to dance, and really anything bodily.

    Thank you!

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    • 6 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
    • Hey Tim,

      This sounds like an awesome class. Here are a few things RE: rhythm/meter/embodiment that were helpful in my own research, and which I found pretty approachable:

      1) Iyer, Vijay. 2002. “Embodied mind, situated cognition, and expressive microtiming in African-

      American music.” Music Perception 19 (3): 387–414.

      2) Witek, Maria, E. Clarke, M. Wallentin, M. Kringelbach, and P. Vuust. 2014. “Syncopation, body-movement and pleasure in groove music.” PLoS ONE 9 (4): 1–12. 

      I also distill a lot a lot of the above in an accessible-to-undergrads sort of way in Chapter 2 of my book Everything in its Right Place: Analyzing Radiohead (Oxford, 2016), though all of the examples are from a snooty English rock band, so if you're not into that sort of thing...

      -Brad

       

    • It's a bit weedy from a technical (though not musical) standpoint, and you can track down some neat animations of stick figures dancing: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/mp.2010.28.1.59?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents (It's Toivianen et. al, "Embodied Meter".)

    • Lisa Margulis's On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind is accessible to undergrads and addresses some of these issues.  Have fun with the class!

    • Hi Tim:  At the risk of “blowing my own horn,”  I would suggest that you take a look at my book (and software) called

      “Developing Musical Intuition,”  Part 2, Rhythmic Structure.  I’m attaching the Introduction to Part 2 to give you a feel for  (can't attach it)

      the ideas, etc.   The book works with an app called “Tuneblocks,” which you can download for free at:

      www.tuneblocks.com.  

      It may seem strange to suggest a computer environment to get at body interaction with music.  But I think you will find

      that this is actually emphasised a lot.  Unfortunately the book is currently out of print but there are copies available on Amazon.  Let me know what you think.

      Jeanne Bamberger

    • Hi Tim:  At the risk of “blowing my own horn,”  I would suggest that you take a look at my book (and software) called



      “Developing Musical Intuition,”  Part 2, Rhythmic Structure.  I’m attaching the Introduction to Part 2 to give you a feel for  (can't attach it)



      the ideas, etc.   The book works with an app called “Tuneblocks,” which you can download for free at:



      www.tuneblocks.com.  

      It may seem strange to suggest a computer environment to get at body interaction with music.  But I think you will find



      that this is actually emphasised a lot.  Unfortunately the book is currently out of print but there are copies available on Amazon.  Let me know what you think.

      Jeanne Bamberger

    • It seems to me that one of the most important aspects of this subject is "group response" or what I prefer to call "networked response" to music. E.g. where an entire audience responds to music in a somewhat coordinated way - swaying, waving hands, clapping, dancing. Or consider the occasional phenomenon where at the end of a wonderful piece of music there is a long silence, witheld applause (there are usually some physical aspects to that long silence). Many subtle and wide-ranging aspects to this.



      The above is important in two ways:

         - Often considered an important gauge of the musical performance ("people were dancing in the aisles, the crowd stood up and roared at the conclusion")

         - In computer-science terms, the responses are "networked", listeners are influencing each other.

          We are no longer viewing a listener as a closed system.

          Vast implications here

       

       

      Isaac Malitz, Ph.D.

      imalitz@OMSModel.com

      www.OMSModel.com

      818-231-3965