Musical intelligence

Scientists have discovered that when the brain is focused on the rhythm of music, the brain creates how the body will move.  This subject is explored in a television program on NatGeo entitled, Musical Intelligence.  It gives us something to consider, especially those who are focused on memorizing step sequences.  If our goal is to improvise our dance in the moment and express what we are feeling in the music, we can learn to rely on our brains.

Music and dance preceded language.  No human culture is known that does not have music.  Daniel Leviten, Ph.D. is a music psychologist at McGill University in Montreal who authored, This is Your Brain on Music: the Science of a Human Obsession.  He studied the brain of the popular singer/song writer Sting to see how various areas respond when hearing music and the creative process.  The big question is why do we like the music we like?  Answering this would help us understand why some tango dancers prefer to dance to music other than tango.  Sting said he remembers listening to his mother play tango at the piano.  He likes the rhythm of the tango and said it fed his muse.  His song Roxanne is a tango.

In the program, School for the Ear, Daniel Barenboim said: The music speaks to us when we are actively listening.  We have to become active listeners as dancers.  Then the sound, melody, harmony and rhythm make us dance.

Robert Jourdain says we don’t need an ear for music, but a mind for it in his book, Music, The Brain and Ecstasy: How music captures our imagination.  When music dissolves into ecstacy, it transports us to an abstract place far from the physical world that normally occupies our minds.  Sounds like a perfect description of what happens to many of us when we dance tango.

One Response to “Musical intelligence”

  1. Lorenzo Says:


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