Body Movement

Jane W. Davidson and Jorge Salgado Correia

in The Science & Psychology of Music Performance

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195138108
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849291 | DOI:
Body Movement

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Body movement plays a role in the construction, execution, and perception of musical performances. This chapter explores the interface between technical matters of physical control and the expressive components of physical gestures, and discusses the bodily origins of musical meaning, expressive performance, and musical skill acquisition. For example, bodily gesture and rhythm in protomusical mother-child exchanges influence the development of thought and knowledge, and expressive slowing in music (ritardando) corresponds to the deceleration of runners coming to a halt. Specific movement gestures in music performance function as illustrative and emblematic cues and clearly indicate the focus of the performer's attention, whether on the narrative content of a song or on showing off to the audience. Thus, through body movement thoughts and concerns are communicated to the audience. Performers, educators, and students can use this knowledge to enhance their performing, teaching, and learning capacities.

Keywords: movement gestures; ritardando; musical meaning; body movement

Chapter.  6446 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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