In The Body Of Life Chapter 1

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Chapter 1: Embodied Musicality
René Descartes’ mind–body dualism is based on the premise that the mind (responsible for activities of thinking) constitutes the essence of knowledge, while the body (responsible for activities of doing) serves as the mind’s extension and executive organ in space. Thus, Cartesian philosophy handles these two components as distinct from each other, with a hierarchical relation in which the mind transcends and governs the body. Influential as it had been, however, the concept started facing significant challenges in the beginning of the 20th century when some philosophers sought to meld the boundaries between body and mind. Instead of viewing knowledge as a solely intellectual matter, they proposed that the experience
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To Hanna, soma is organic and adaptive, constantly adjusting itself to the surroundings, while the physical body refers to a static and close-ended object. Tracing the etymology of soma back to its Greek root, Hanna (1983) describes it as “the living body in the wholeness” (p. 6), which involves not only the three physical dimensions (height, depth, and width) but also a fourth––time. With this fourth aspect, soma is not merely a physical entity, but a synthetic integrity that is held together through time. It is a process that never reaches completion. To understand this process, wrote Hanna, is “to understand the how of life” (Ibid, p.8). Thus, soma aomprises the entire package of life in which the body, the mind, and the environment are all included and interrelated. It is a living unit that performs and rehearses continually. This development is ongoing and never…show more content…
57). That is, what one feels, perceives, and practices in daily life would regularly be encoded into one’s entire being, including cognition. This concept is nicely articulated in Dalcroze’s Eurhythmics for music. In this method, music –especially rhythm– is taught through bodily movements or via the moving objects that the students are already familiar with. Émile Jaques-Dalcroze believed that all the rhythms embedded in our bodies and the world surrounding us, such as walking, running, heart beating, and ball bouncing, would prepare one’s learning path toward musical intelligence and skills. The interaction between internal and external time is becoming one’s (musical) rhythmic ability. Therefore, to learn rhythm is to discover the rhythm both inside and outside of the body. To teach rhythm is not to introduce a new concept to the learners, but to direct them to find similar temporal experiences from their past. This idea corresponds to what Wayne Bowman described, that sensations and actions are not cognitive achievements; rather, they are the quintessential core of cognition (Bowman, 2004,
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