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The Eurhythmics of Jaques-Dalcroze

The Eurhythmics of Jaques-Dalcroze


"Rhythmische Gymnastik" is the name by which the Dalcroze method is known in Germany, but whether or not the German words are adequate, their literal translation into English certainly gives too narrow an idea of the scope of the system to any one unacquainted with it. Rhythmical "gymnastics," in the natural meaning of the word, is a part of the Dalcroze training, and a not unimportant part, but it is only one application of a much wider principle; and accordingly, where the term occurs in the following pages, it must be understood simply as denoting a particular mode of physical drill. But for the principle itself and the total method embodying it, another name is needed, and the term "Eurhythmics" has been here coined for the purpose. The originality of the Dalcroze method, the fact that it is a discovery, gives it a right to a name of its own: it is because it is in a sense also the rediscovery of an old secret that a name has been chosen of such plain reference and derivation. Plato, in the words quoted above, has said that the whole of a man’s life stands in need of a right rhythm: and it is natural to see some kinship between this Platonic attitude and the claim of Dalcroze that his discovery is not a mere refinement of dancing, nor an improved method of music-teaching, but a principle that must have effect upon every part of life.
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The Eurhythmics of Jaques-Dalcroze

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