The touch of sound: Dalcroze Eurhythmics as a somatic practice

Karin Greenhead, John Habron

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    19 Citations (Scopus)
    81 Downloads (Pure)


    Dalcroze Eurhythmics is a rich and multifaceted, living practice that has developed a wide range of applications and pedagogical approaches during more than a century of endeavour. Most researchers have situated this work within music education, dance and theatre history and therapy of various kinds. In this article we argue that it may also be considered a somatic practice owing to the ways in which movement, space, sensation, presence, touch and improvisation are central to the method. While recognizing that not all somatic practices include touch and improvisation, we focus on these aspects to explore the notion of the haptic nature of vision and sound, as they are manifest in the Dalcroze class. Drawing on practical examples of widespread practice within the Dalcroze community as well as personal experiences, we assert that the touch-like nature of sound not only makes contact with the body, inciting physical and emotional movement, but also develops awareness of self, others and environment due to the social nature of musical participation in general and of the rhythmics class in particular.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)93-112
    JournalJournal of Dance & Somatic Practices
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


    • Dalcroze Eurhythmics
    • contact
    • improvisation
    • movement
    • music
    • touch


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