The Moving Body in the Aural Skills Classroom: A Eurythmics Based Approach

The Moving Body in the Aural Skills Classroom: A Eurythmics Based Approach

by Diane J. Urista

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Inspired by Dalcroze-eurhythmics, this book is a practical guide for teachers and students interested in integrating the moving body into the aural skills classroom. Author Diane J. Urista focuses on movement-to-music as a tool for developing musical perception and the kinesthetic aspects of performance. As this book demonstrates, moving to music and watching others move cultivates an active, multi-sensory learning experience in which students learn by discovery and from each other.

The book features a wealth of exercises that teach rhythmic, melodic, harmonic and formal concepts, including improvisation and expressive exercises. These exercises not only develop the ear, but also awaken the muscular and nervous system, foster mind-body connections, strengthen the powers of concentration, develop inner-hearing, short- and long-term memory, multi-tasking skills, limb autonomy, and expressive freedom. Exercises are presented in a graded but flexible order allowing readers to select individual exercises in any sequence. Activities involve movement through space as well as movement in place for those teaching in small classrooms. The book can be used as a teacher's manual, a supplementary aural-skills textbook, or as a stand-alone reference in a course dedicated to eurhythmics. Many exercises also provide an effective aural/sensory tool in the music theory classroom to complement verbal explanations. The approach integrates easily into any traditional college or conservatory classroom and is compatible with fixed do, moveable do, and scale degrees. A companion website features undergraduate students performing select exercises.

Visit the companion website at

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190619763
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 08/30/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
File size: 13 MB
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About the Author

Diane Urista is on the music theory faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she teaches undergraduate and graduate students.

Table of Contents


I. Purpose

Why the Moving Body in the Aural Skills Classroom?

Healing the Mind-Body Split in College Music Training

Rhythms from the Body

What is the Kinesthetic Sense or "Sixth Sense?"

Traditional vs. Embodied Approach

Musical Affect and Expressive Performance

II. Methodology

Experience before Analysis

Spiral of Learning

Sensation before Conceptualization

Internalization and Automatisms

Improvisation: Cultivating One's "Voice"

Physiological Evidence

Reflective Stillness: Movement is Not an End in Itself

III. Getting Started (Notes to the Instructor)

Pedagogical Tips

Chapter 1: Basics

I. Preliminary Considerations

Physical Form (to the instructor)

Movement Tenets (to the instructor and students)

Overcoming Inhibitions (to the instructor)

II. Five Fundamental Exercises (to the instructor and students)

Quick Reaction

Inhibition and Excitation


Imitation and Canon


Chapter 2: Warm ups

Chapter 3: Rhythm
I: Basic Rhythmic Concepts and Terminology (to the instructor and students)
Time-Point vs. Gestural-Rhythm
Rhythmic Nuance
Definitions of Accents and Poetic Feet
Expressing Gestural Rhythms
Pedagogical Tips for Teaching Rhythm Exercises (to the instructor)
II: Rhythmic Subjects
1. Beat, Pulse, & Tempo
2. Meter-Simple and Compound
3. Augmentation-Rhythmic Duration and Expansion
4. Subdivision in Simple and Compound Meters
5. Rests & Pauses-The Expression of Silence
6. Dotted Rhythm
7. Syncopation
8. Gestural Rhythmic Patterns
9. Cross Rhythms and Polyrhythms
10. Changing Meters
11. Uneven Meters
12. Additive Rhythms
13. Polymeters and Cross Rhythms
Chapter 4: Pitch, Scale, and Melody
1. The Scale-to and from tonic
2. Tonal Centering, Retention, and Recall
3. Relative Pitch & Scale Degree Function
4. Scalar Fragments-The Scale's Inner workings
5. Intervals-A Contextualized Approach
6. C-to-C Scales-A Comparative Study of Scales
7. Modulation-Strategies for Singing, Hearing, and Improvising
8. Sight Singing and Inner Hearing Strategies
Chapter 5: Harmony
1. Chords-Harmonic Building Blocks from the Scale
2. Inversions-Triads and Seventh Chords
3. Embodying Harmonic Function
4. Modulation
5. Embodying/Integrating Harmonic Progressions
Chapter 6

1. Phrase

2. Forms

3. Plastique Anim e

Additional Plastique Anim e

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