Listening to music is an individual and subjective experience. Each person has different physical and psychological conditions that influence the listening experience. A sequence of tones is not the same as a melody and does not have a rhythm per se. Only the connection, the experience of a context let melody and rhythm arise.

One literally lets the acoustic stimuli enter one's inner world through the ear, compares them with existing listening experiences, classifies them in known systems and lets them have an effect on oneself. One asks oneself consciously or unconsciously: What do I associate with the piece, what with the sounds and instruments? Which inner movements do I feel and which inner images arise?

Unfortunately, this exciting process takes place in secret. If one wants to make the outside world understand what one hears, only description helps. Often this is done with spatial terms, such as height, depth and width. Perhaps this process is due to the fact that the auditory system and the vestibular system are very similar in construction and functioning. The latter provides for the constant orientation in three-dimensional space. Also, the primal human connection of movement and music could have its origin in it.

Through body movements and dance, the individual listening experience can be transported to the outside. A connection between inside and outside is created. Both beat, rhythm, highs, lows, width, tension, relaxation and even the experienced mood can be made visible in movement in space. The expression of movement is again individual, like the listening experience itself, influenced by cultural imprints, experiences and physiological conditions.

For these very reasons, it is worthwhile to discover how other people connect with music. It becomes especially interesting the more cultural imprints and learning experiences of the other person differ from one's own.

Mariella Castello

To connect means to consider a person or a thing as related in some way to something else. In an improvisation or a performance with sound/ music and movement the relation between those two topics can have a variable outcome. The movement can show the music, which means that there is a high degree of synchronicity with the music. But for me, to connect can also mean to decide to arrange something against the structure or rhythm of something else. This would mean that a connection between those topics happens, when there is a conscious decision on how to transform one to another, how to react and what you want to say in this relation. A connection between two things is always a relation. Maybe to connect could be a question of how to participate in this relationship of music and movement. Is it an agreement, a consent, which could be a high synchronicity, or a rejection, a disagreement?

Johanna Schmalöer

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The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.