Dalcroze Today

Dalcroze Today : An Education Through and into Music

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The teachings and pioneer work of Emile Jaques-Dalcroze have been relatively neglected by educationalists. It is the aim of this book to help to change that position. Not only does it give an exposition of his teachings but it also contains practical suggestions for ways in which those teachings can be adapted to meet current needs. Whilst working as a Professor of Harmony at the Geneva Conservatoire, Dalcroze felt that the accepted method of training was so geared to the intellect that it failed to give students the first-hand aural and physical experience of music which he considered essential to their growth as musicians. Arguing that musical experience depends on the power and quality of physical sensation (the kinaesthetic sense), he decided to focus attention on two of music's basic elements - rhythm and dynamic intensity with the students using their bodies as their instruments of expression. From the experiments which followed this decision, several principles emerged.
In his view, theory should always follow practice, rules should be introduced only after the facts which give rise to them have been experienced, students should be creators themselves as well as responders to the creation of others and before anything else they should learn to know themselves. Apart from these general principles, he gradually devised a total programme for developing musicianship - based on the interrelation of aural training, rhythmics, movement study, improvisation and keyboard harmony. Although his work was at first directed towards music students, he recognized that it was applicable to all - especially to children. Through the experiences he initiated he enabled the development of powers of observation, apperception, analysis, understanding and memory, and helped pupils to become responsive personalities.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 387 pages
  • 138 x 216mm | 631g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • music examples, figures, bibliography, index
  • 0193174243
  • 9780193174245

Table of contents

Part 1 Introduction: historical overview; aims and thesis of the present work. Part 2 Initiations: time-space-energy; initial exercises; the Dalcrozian instructor; pupils in rhythmics; the period of instruction. Part 3 Eurythmics - ends and means: returning to sources; piano improvization - the primary tool of the eurhythmics lesson; learning to improvise; musical "prompts"; the educational value of eurhythmics. Part 4 The grammar of eurhythmics: the grammar of movement; rhythm and metre; respiration; gestural points of departure and arrival; incitation of movement and nervous released energy; the study of gestures and gesture sequences; the study of positions and attitudes of the body; walking and the "grace-notes" of walking; points of support and resistance; making use of space; actions and feelings. Part 5 Eurhythmics and children: eurhythmics in schools; infant-school age; primary school level - ages seven to nine, ages nine and upwards; from adolescence to early maturity as recollected by an adult.
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