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Author Topic: musicallity - what is it?  (Read 5671 times)
TangoDancer
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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2010, 03:07:48 AM »

Great topic because, as is evidenced, you are correct... it is a term that needs defining, or perhaps, refining.

I beleive the greatest issue is simply one of interpretation/definition. Musicality encompasses so much that it has become a term used too loosely. IMHO, the issue is that you are all correct. Musicality is, at its most basic level, the technical knowledge/understanding of music, and, at a higher level, how one uses that knowledge/understanding. The problem arises when we realize that it is different in music than it is in dance.

In dance, a most basic knowledge/understanding of music is worthless if it is not accompanied by a most basic knowledge/understanding of the dance. I would agree that, in dance, msuciality has nothing to do with these fundementals, but is specifically the way/s in which one interprets all of the interrelating aspects of the dance inclusive of the basics of music. It is to this resolve that I maintain that musicality can be shown, but not be taught. I can teach you the parts that are involved, but I can not teach you how to feel/internalize/interpret a particular piece or movement.

Musicality is innate and unique to the individual expressing it.
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The most beautiful part of the dance is often found in between the steps... and in the movement within the stillness.
elisedance
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« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2010, 03:24:13 AM »

Exactly - which is also why it can not really be wrong or right - you would have to walk a mile in the dancers dance shoes to do that!  Not to say one can not express an opinion as to which is good to the observer - and it seems that there is often a consensus on that. 

And that might be read as if it IS possible to judge musicallity.  Trouble is that tastes change and, worse, true innovators are generally seen as weird initially in any art form - and 'consensus' would see them as initially 'bad'.

Rhytm, OTOH, is either on or not (although even here there is some difference since one person may work off a different beat than another and curving the beat is an intrinsic part of musicallit).  Still, a couple that is off the rhytm through several bars is generally daincing incorrectly and that can be judged.
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TangoDancer
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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2010, 03:41:26 AM »

Agreed. Yet, I would still contend that a person can dance off of the beat, and be judged accordingly, but have great musicality while doing so.
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The most beautiful part of the dance is often found in between the steps... and in the movement within the stillness.
elisedance
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2010, 04:03:07 AM »

another reason why they should be discussed separately...
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TangoDancer
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« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2010, 04:43:03 AM »

Agreed. Hope some others chime in on this one b/c it is a very important, and far too often misunderstood entity of the dance.
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The most beautiful part of the dance is often found in between the steps... and in the movement within the stillness.
ZPomeroy
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« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2010, 08:56:21 AM »

Yet, I would still contend that a person can dance off of the beat, and be judged accordingly, but have great musicality while doing so.

Would a couple not be taught to be on time first and then learn to understand the principles of musicality. I understand that musicality cannot be taught, yet a student cannot be directed on the right path to musicality without a sound basic of timing. If not it would be like a beginner musician playing around with the timing of a piece without understanding the principles of rhythm, which would certainty be interpreted as being wrong.

Zac
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elisedance
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« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2010, 09:07:07 AM »

Yet, I would still contend that a person can dance off of the beat, and be judged accordingly, but have great musicality while doing so.

Would a couple not be taught to be on time first and then learn to understand the principles of musicality. I understand that musicality cannot be taught, yet a student cannot be directed on the right path to musicality without a sound basic of timing. If not it would be like a beginner musician playing around with the timing of a piece without understanding the principles of rhythm, which would certainty be interpreted as being wrong.

Zac
I don't agree.  You can listen to a self-taught pitch-pipe shepherd or street musician playing beautifully with fabulous musicallity - but totally off any particular beat... You also see this in jazz where a musician solos - going off beat is a key element of improvisation (and to a lesser extent this is also true even in classical cadenzas).  Its only when you constrain music to cultural limits where rhythm becomes an essential - for two reasons: one is dance itself (look at african tribal music) and the other to permit multiple musicians to play in synchrony....
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

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ZPomeroy
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« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2010, 09:14:06 AM »

The examples you gave i think are in a different league, because the street musician is playing most probably his or her own composition the rules change, they composed the song therefore the musicality they put to their idea of their rhythm is still on time due to the fact that the street playing has nothing to base it on, its his own composition he can practically do what he likes. The second example you gave, jazz, is a 20th century idea whereby the music actually is based around syncopation and off beat playing, a jazz player would still have the knowledge of rhythm and is then basing his musicality over that, the fact is that jazz is deliberate when it comes to this sort of playing, whereas a couple dancing off beat i don't not think would be deliberate, more due to the fact of not having to sound basic of rhythm to base their musicality upon

Zac
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elisedance
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« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2010, 09:38:59 AM »

I agree with all of that - but I still think you can exhibit musicallity while being off beat - I just suggest you do it when there are no other couples on beat since the comparison will grate.

When alone in the studio I often dance with the music off and only to the internal song - I'm not sure but I don't think rhytm is a factor at all, its all about expression...
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TangoDancer
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« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2010, 12:29:55 AM »

I agree with all of that - but I still think you can exhibit musicallity while being off beat -

I, too, still must agree. I can dance off of a prescribed beat, yet demonstrate passion, or melancholy, or strength, snappy/graceful movement, or whatever musicality I feel. I do it all the time, though, now I'm feeling a wee self-conscious.....   Undecided  Gee, thanks.   Cry
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The most beautiful part of the dance is often found in between the steps... and in the movement within the stillness.
elisedance
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« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2010, 06:16:01 AM »

why so? IMO rhythm is actuallly an abstraction to dance.  If it was a variable as movement is just think how much more musicallity one could express.

To me this video is an extraordinary example of dance musicallity ...
http://www.pakreel.com/video/xgf3xgbKYko/lamentation-martha-graham.html

and one that changed the dance world...
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
SwingWaltz
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« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2010, 11:15:20 AM »

Musicality for me is when people see you dance, they "hear" the music from your dancing!
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catsmeow
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« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2010, 09:06:06 PM »

Am I reading this right? Are the posts saying that musicality is in the eye of the beholder?
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elisedance
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« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2010, 09:19:43 PM »

yup, And in the ear too maybe Wink
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
catsmeow
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« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2010, 09:36:50 PM »

Musicality isnt just visual?  Now I am really confused.
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