Dalcroze Today: An Education through and into Music
  • Dalcroze Today: An Education through and into Music

Dalcroze Today: An Education through and into Music

Marie-Laure Bachmann
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Published: 28 October 1993

388 Pages | music examples, line figures


This is an English translation of La Rhythmique Jaques-Dalcroze by Marie-Laure Bachmann, first published in Switzerland in 1984. The book was commissioned by the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze in Geneva and is the first to give a comprehensive account of the work and ideas of Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, 1865-1950, educational pioneer, musician, and creative artist.

With its detailed and copious references to archive material the book gives us a fascinating insight into the inception and development of Jaques-Dalcroze's work, from the end of the last century up to the present day. It traces his growing ideas on the use of movement and of improvisation in the process of music learning, and the application of these ideas to the vital experiencing of musical material, both for children and adults. Dalcroze's work begins with the primacy of individual response, the right of all to develop their individual minds through interpretative gesture; this, among other outcomes, enables a process of stringent self-monitoring in the development of the musical ear. The experience of overt physical response, which may involve the whole body, is seen to take precedence in the learning process, unequivocally and at all ages, over information gathering and problem solving.

The principles of Jaques-Dalcroze are salutary and more relevant now than ever before. Indeed, many areas of musical activity would by enriched by an understanding application of his ideas, for example pre-instrumental learning, the training of young instrumentalists, performing, music therapy, and of course, the whole domain of music education.

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