Saturday, September 12, 2009


Jonathan West has come back to the topic of musicality with this post on mimicry. I'm copying and pasting in here the comment I made on it.

>>Very nice points. Thanks again. Hope you keep coming back to this subject of musicality. These posts have been very helpful for me because while I've thought about much of what you're saying, using "musicality" as a general descriptor had never occurred to me, and it's very handy and helpful.

About the mimicry - I briefly worked with some very young children this summer so they could sing with my group in church. Most were too young to read, so I taught the song by call and response. Visited their Sunday School class a couple of times and made a CD for them that had a track of me rhythmically chanting the lyrics with hand claps. On the recording of the performance was really amazed at how well they picked up on the subtle rhythms and vocal inflections I'd used. The intonation was all over the map, but the rhythm was solid and the words clearly understandable and very expressive.

The other thing about the "mimicry" concept is that it's part of what a music therapist does when trying to engage a client in the process of making music. One way to do that is to try to mimic the client's emotional state with the music so as to make a connection, and to then move the music's emotional content and the client's behavior a therapeutic direction.<<

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