The Audio-Visual Aesthetics of Music and Dance

Orgs, Guido and Howlin, Claire. 2020. The Audio-Visual Aesthetics of Music and Dance. In: Marcos Nadal and Oshin Vartanian, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Aesthetics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198824350 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Dance and music appear to belong together: Conventional definitions of dance often con­ ceive it as a rhythmical activity in which a series of steps is performed to musical accom­ paniment. Indeed, dance and music share many similarities such as rhythm and may have co-evolved as a form of nonverbal communication between groups of people. Despite a rich history of composers and choreographers exploring the aesthetic relationship be­ tween dance and music, only a few scientific studies have systematically explored how the visual aesthetics of dance interact with the auditory aesthetics of sound and music. In this chapter we will focus on such interactions; we will explore the common evolutionary origins of dance and music and review existing research on how dance and music influ­ ence each other to produce an audio-visual aesthetics of sound and movement. The chap­ ter will explore interactions in both directions: music influences dance perception by al­ tering movement expressiveness, orienting visual attention, and by modulating memory. At the same time music perception strongly depends on groove and danceability and is shaped by the listener’s dance experience. The chapter closes with a review of method­ ological challenges to studying the audio-visual aesthetics of dance and music and sug­ gestions for future research in this field.

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October 2020Published

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04 Nov 2020 10:09

Last Modified:

31 Oct 2022 02:26


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