"All musical truth resides in the body"

"It sounds to me as if that statement is almost the cornerstone of everything you've done ever since."

"Exactly! You know, it's that idea that there's no separation between the voice and music and the body."

Meredith Monk speaking with CBS News Correspondent Martha Teichner attributes the first statement to Emile Jaques-Dalcroze.

She goes on to add: "One day, I just had a revelation that the voice could be an instrument; that it could move like my hand moves, that it could be like the spine, that it could jump, that it could turn, that it could fall ... that within it were all these feelings that we don't have words for."

"Renowned for her groundbreaking vocal techniques," iconoclastic composer, singer and performer, Meredith Monk "reimagined the instrument of voice with her innovative work." We might add that, much as Jaques-Dalcroze did more than a century ago, Monk also reimagined the entire human body as an instrument.

Monk has spoken eloquently about the Dalcroze training she received as a child, most recently in a segment of CBS Sunday Morning, now available as a podcast here: ​http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-singular-voice-of-meredith-monk/ (the entire transcript is posted here).

Born with strabismus, Monk could not fuse the vision of each eye into a single perspective. When she was three her mother enrolled her in Dalcroze Eurhythmics classes to help with coordination. Speaking of Dalcroze, Monk recalled that: "one thing that he said that was very beautiful was: 'All musical truth resides in the body.'"

Many warm congratulations to Monk for the well-deserved recognition she is now receiving for a career in music and movement that spans more than fifty years, as noted on the National Endowment for the Arts website. Many thanks to esteemed colleague, Annabelle Joseph for sharing this important news with us.


Meet the Composer on WQXR: Meredith Monk
According to WQXR host Nadia Sirota, "From an extremely young age, music and movement were braided together for Meredith. Her earliest musical instruction was in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, which teaches students concepts of rhythm, structure, and musical expression through the motion of their own bodies. Born into a musical family, music came easily to Meredith, but movement didn't. For Meredith, instead of learning music through movement, Dalcroze taught her her body through music. Once these two arts were fuzed together, Meredith never unstuck them, creating sophisticated works that existed in that liminal space from the get-go."
From 8:35 to 11:15 she goes into some depth about her Dalcroze experience. Check it out.


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Based on the artistic and pedagogical principles of Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, the Dalcroze approach teaches an understanding of music's fundamental concepts, expressive meanings, and deep connections to other arts and activities. Performers, teachers, dancers, actors, children, and senior citizens can all benefit from this approach which incorporates rhythmic movement, aural training and improvisation.


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"Dalcroze is particularly exciting to me because it allows [the] vital creative aspects of music making to be honed and explored while enhancing the rigor of the musicianship training we provide." Dana Zenobi

"...I was awakened to the realization that I could once again hear more clearly, feel more deeply, and see my way to a greater understanding of the multiple manners in which 'music is life.'" Patricia Shehan Campbell