The twist and the turn, part I

The twist and the turn, part II

The poumtchak pattern

The project: choices, limitations and terminology

The music

The movements

The theory

The survey

The analyses

Music and body movements

Corporeality in music listening

Corporeality in the field of music psychology

Corporeality in ethnomusicology and popular music studies

Corporeality in music analysis

Outline of the thesis

The approach of the dance music producer








the twist and the turn, Part I


Elvis Presley not only introduced rockユnユroll to a broader American audience but also demonstrated an immodest corporeal engagement with the music, in a society where the body was significantly constrained by moral and religious anxiety. Presley and his contemporaries showed a whole new generation of listeners how rhythm in music could cause liberating (and enjoyable) bodily movement. A few years later, in 1960, Chubby Checker released a cover version of a song by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters called The Twist. The dance move that followed established individual dancing once and for all in modern Western culture. Many of the dance records following The Twist provided instructions in the lyrics for how to move to them, but participants invented their own variations as well. As Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton observe in their book about the history of the DJ: メIt [The Twist] required no partner, no routine, no ritual, no training.モ[1]


The fitting term メimprovised social dancingモ[2] further characterizes this practice of enjoying music through body movement, not as prearranged steps or moves but as an improvisational response to rhythmic elements. During the dance fads of the early 1960s, the disco movement of the mid-1970s, and the rave and club scenes of the late 1980s and 1990s, dancing represented the dominant interaction with music for a large number of participants in popular music culture. Perhaps as a consequence, aspects of groove and rhythmic drive have been increasingly important to the producers of popular music throughout this time period.


Interestingly, the general popular and scholarly discourse on 1960s rock portrays a turn away from dancing, towards a listening practice supposedly more focused on the music or its performers.[3] The shift towards this mode of reception for rock was probably also influenced by discourses on jazz and Western classical music. Simon Frith describes the classical concert as メmeasured by the stillness it commands, by the intensity of the audienceユs mental concentration, by the lack of any physical distraction.モ[4] Equal scholarly status for rock music, might have appeared to require a similar concentrated involvement and attitude of respect towards the music and its musicians. Dancing as a form of musical reception did not fit this picture.[5]


the twist and the turn, Part II


In my hometown in the 1970s, we had a disco at my local youth centre every Thursday evening. Here as a teenager I experienced my first real twisting to music, with a DJ, disco lights, and American dance music. My fascination with dancing (and dance music) took root, and it flourished in the 1980s and even more intensively in the 1990s as the wave of club-oriented dance music swept through various European cities. Spending Friday and Saturday nights at central clubs in Oslo, Norway, I learned to appreciate the great potential for creative corporeal response (or dancing) that was present in this new music.


Concurrently, in the mid-1980s I turned towards an academic study of music and was introduced to a culture in which the corporeal response to music was considered less appropriate. The music I listened to (and danced to) received little attention there. As I became more interested in academic research and music analysis, I began to search for approaches that could measure and explain the qualities of dance music. This quest brought me in contact with two pioneers in popular music analysis: Philip Tagg and Richard Middleton.[6] They saw the need for a dedicated study of popular music given what they perceived to be the inadequacy of analytical methods aimed at Western classical music.[7] Among the shared central premises of their work were (1) that the object of analysis had to be placed within a cultural and historical context and (2) that the central position of notation in music analysis should not dictate the musical parameters to be studied. These premises were further discussed and developed by later scholars.[8] Middletonユs utterly unique work from 1993, where he outlines the theoretical and methodical perspectives for an analysis of メmusical gestures,モ is particularly relevant here, demonstrating as it does that an analytical approach might also engage corporeality.[9] But this approach was not adequately developed to deal with the challenges of groove-based dance music. Eventually, then, I realized that I would have to form my own approach. I began with a few simple questions: How do I judge the success of a particular dance track? What do I consider to be the most significant quality of dance music?


These initial questions were not too difficult to answer. For me, successful dance music made me want to move but also made dancing itself fascinating, and the most significant quality was the musicユs ability to evoke these movements. But what specifically musical elements brought this about? And how might the moving body be used to measure those elements?


These questions were more challenging. Various contributors to popular music studies have been quite productive in engaging with related topics like associative meanings, identity markers, or generic features, but connections between music and dancing had long been disregarded. Though dancing was recognized as an important factor in the popularity of pop and rock, its perceptual and psychological aspects lay dormant in the scholarship. How could the dancing body, and its apparently unlimited creative response to music be subject to scholarly investigation? I needed a theoretical framework that would be relevant to the culture in question and adaptable to academic exposition.


The poumtchak pattern


How, then, could the twist and the turn – the dancing and the theoretical approach – be brought together? I decided to begin with a rhythmic pattern that I found in myriad dance tracks – from 1970s disco to contemporary electronic dance music. I named this pattern the メpoumtchak,モ メpoumモ referring to a bass drum sound and メtchakモ to a hi-hat sound (or a similar high-frequency sound). A complete メpoumtchak patternモ has bass drum sounds on all of the downbeats and hi-hat sounds on the upbeats (off-beats) between them, and it may comprise the メbasic beatモ of the track.[10]


This rhythmic pattern seemed especially effective at evoking specific movement patterns in response to it. In its proper cultural context and with the right tempo it appeared to represent a starting point or basic structure for dancing as well as a variety of vertical movement patterns, such as head nodding, foot tapping, or upper-body bouncing, that also appeared off the dancefloor. It presented itself as a nexus for the relations among music, general or unconscious movement, and dancing. There also seemed to be a further correspondence between the bass drum sound and a body movement downward (on the downbeats), and the hi-hat sound and a movement upward (on the upbeats), together comprising a continuous and undulating vertical movement pattern performed with different parts of the body.[11]


On the basis of these observations the main questions for this study became the following: Is there a significant and relatively consistent correspondence between the musical poumtchak pattern and vertical movement patterns within the club-oriented dance music culture? If so, how might this correspondence assist in illuminating the musical qualities of dance music tracks?


The project: choices, limitations and terminology


The music


The most important criterion for choosing the music for this study was, of course, the presence of the poumtchak pattern. This pattern is most dominant in a specific genre of club-oriented dance music called メhouse,モ but it also appears frequently in other contemporary genres such as メtrance,モ メtechno,モ and メdance,モ and in earlier musical influences such as メChicago houseモ and メdisco.モ Though the average tempo of these genres differs, the standard tempo of consideration in this study is from around 120 bpm (beats per minute) to 135 bpm.  I have chosen to focus primarily on house music tracks from the メpost-rave eraモ of the mid- to late 1990s, when dance music culture had moved from large rave events to clubs. I will look especially closely at two dance acts, Basement Jaxx (British) and Daft Punk (French), both of which were central contributors to the dance music of this period.


Throughout this study I will use the term メelectronic dance music,モ to encompass all of the various genres and subgenres of music related to club culture. I will employ specific genre names when they are relevant. I will use the term メgroove-based musicモ to designate music with an explicit focus on groove-producing features. Because I link groove to those body movements that are activated by the rhythmic elements of the music, many musics are in fact メgroove basedモ; furthermore, a focus on song, mood, melody, or harmony does not preclude an equal focus on groove. I use the term メgroove-oriented,モ then, to refer to music where groove plays a somewhat more subordinate role.


The movements


To limit the often unrestrained movements of メimprovised social dancingモ for the purposes of analysis, I take as my point of departure the vertical movement patterns of head nodding, upper-body bouncing, and to a certain extent foot tapping. These commonly anticipate actual dancing within club culture but can also be part of it. Through these basic movements I will be able to present some fundamental features of the corporeal response to electronic dance music, and in particular to the poumtchak pattern. I will then expand my analysis to include the effect of other interacting sounds and rhythmic patterns in producing variation and suspense to the basic movement pattern.


The cycle created by such vertical movements (which starts at a middle position, drops to a low position, lifts to a peak position, and then returns to the middle position) is my most productive unit of measure. The musical entity corresponding to this movement pattern I have named the メbeat-cycleモ; instead of referring to four measures of 4/4 as sixteen beats, then, I will call it sixteen beat-cycles. Moreover, when describing the positions of rhythmic events in regard to a rhythmic structure, I will use the terms メdownbeatsモ and メupbeatsモ rather than メstrong beatsモ and メweak beatsモ or メbeatsモ and メoff-beats.モ I explain these choices further in chapter 5.


The theory


My theoretical foundation for this study resides comfortably within hermeneutic musicology and popular music studies, where various analytical approaches have inspired me. First of all, Robert Walser insists significantly that メmusic analysts need to be able to account for a musicユs appealモ[12] and promotes research that is concerned with メunderstanding how music works and why people care about it.モ[13] Through his objects of analysis he demonstrates that any music that has ever been meaningful to a particular audience is worthy of analytical study. Twenty years before, Philip Tagg had observed further that メit seems wise to select an AO [analysis object] which is conceived for and received by large, socioculturally heterogeneous groups of listeners rather than music used by more exclusive, homogeneous groups, simply because it is more logical to study what is generally communicable before trying to understand particularities.モ[14] Such perspectives validate my interest in (1) a genre of music that is popular among large groups of listeners but not often the target of music analysis, and (2) a rhythm pattern whose simplicity might otherwise discourage musicologists, musicians, and music enthusiasts from pursuing it. Stan Hawkinsユs writings on dance music and Anne Danielsenユs studies on grooves in funk music further validated my choices.[15]  


Taggユs hermeneutic-semiological method for popular music analysis also introduced メmusemesモ as メminimal units of expression.モ[16] He describes musemes as meaningful components in music (similar to morphemes in language) and uses them in his analytical model to elucidate content and meaning in music. Taggユs examples from his own analytical works do not involve corporeal reactions to music, but the musemes would appear to be equally relevant there. Richard Middleton then formulated the term メmusematic repetitionモ[17] on the basis of Taggユs musemes to describe the consistent recurrence of shorter, typically rhythmic units over longer periods in a piece of music (in contrast to メdiscursive repetitionモ which involves longer units and more variation). Among Middletonユs many examples of musematic repetition are rhythmic patterns such as the メback-beatモ or the メeight-to-the-bar.モ[18] Following from these early studies in popular music analysis, I have come to regard the poumtchak pattern as a メminimal unit of expressionモ as well, one that plays a significant role in lending meaning to music.


Tagg also observed that メa holistic approach to the analysis of popular music is the only viable one if one wishes to reach a full understanding of all factors interacting with the conception, transmission, and reception of the object of study.モ[19] He then pointed out that the level of multidisciplinary knowledge that would be required for such an approach is beyond the reach of the individual researcher who might instead pursue メdegrees of inter- and intradisciplinary outlook.モ[20] In this study I have attempted to introduce different theoretical perspectives in hermeneutics and the humanities, building upon the inclination in popular music studies to incorporate work from cultural studies, anthropology, and media studies. Moreover, I have been interested in exploring contributions from disciplines such as linguistics, psychology, and neuroscience. Certain perceptual and cognitive processes can illuminate connections between rhythm in music and body movement. Studies that are particularly relevant here include James J. Gibsonユs publications describing his メecological approachモ to perception and Eric F. Clarkeユs book Ways of Listening, which builds on Gibsonユs approach with regard to music; Mari Riess Jonesユs theories about attention and expectation in music listening, and especially her description of メentrainmentモ; and the metaphor theory of Lakoff and Johnson within cognitive semantics concerning verticality in music. These scholarsユ work is presented in more detail in chapter 4 (part 2).


Other relevant theoretical contributions will arise in this study as various topics require them. Later in this introduction I will discuss corporeality in music listening in relation to various fields of musicology, including especially music psychology, ethnomusicology, and popular music studies. Two analytical works that are both relevant to my own approach are Richard Middletonユs discussion of gestural analysis of popular music and Jan Petter Blomユs studies of Norwegian folk dances.


The first two chapters of this study introduce the historical and cultural context of my objects of analysis. I present theoretical perspectives concerning, for example, authenticity in club culture (Thornton), and the relevant literature mainly arises from the field of cultural studies and its related disciplines.[21] Though my work is obviously firmly linked to popular music studies through its focus on popular music and its culture, several issues that are familiar to the field will not come up much, including questions of ethnicity, gender, race, and class.[22] My focus here remains on musical features within grooves and their correspondences to patterns in body movements. Nevertheless, the cultural context where the music in question is produced is presented to provide an essential backdrop to the discussions and analyses of the music.[23]


I discuss theoretical perspectives connected to the topics of rhythm and groove in chapter 5, preceding my analyses of rhythm in chapter 6. Two central books – Anne Danielsenユs Presence and pleasure: the funk grooves of James Brown and Parliament and Mark Butlerユs Unlocking the grooves: rhythm, meter, and musical design in electronic dance music – present interesting if divergening approaches constructed in turn on the rhythm theory of African and African American music (Danielsen) and of Western classical music (Butler). Butlerユs book also comprises the most thorough academic study of club-oriented music to date, offering discussions and analyses of rhythmic structures in relation to musical meter. Not many other popular music studies of club-oriented music exist that include music analyses, save for articles by Tony Langlois and Philip Tagg from the early 1990s and a few later studies by Stan Hawkins.[24]


Books and articles dealing with research on music technology and sound within popular music studies have informed my analyses of sound elements in chapter 8, which are preceded by a chapter in which relevant theoretical perspectives are introduced.


The survey


Philip Taggユs analytical method for popular music includes a technique he calls メhypothetical substitutionモ[25] for testing our assumptions about various qualities of this music. He finds メitems of musical codeモ[26] first in the object of analysis, then in the music to which he will compare it, and then he tests for similarities and differences by changing out the items between the two musics. I will return to this technique in chapter 3, but I mention it here to draw attention to his belief that popular music can be approached by avenues other than mere subjective interpretation.


Since the poumtchak pattern is my analytical point of departure, I think it is vital to establish a wider perspective concerning its significance to the audience in question. This perspective, presented in chapter 3, includes a survey that I have conducted with music students, preceded by an additional, more exploratory survey I conducted with respondents from a Facebook group related to house music. The main survey was intended to gauge the extent to which people tend to move in the same direction when listening to music with the poumtchak pattern. It was carried out as a web-based survey, where eleven questions were connected to five musical excerpts and respondents were asked to report on their experiences of body movements. (A further description of the survey follows in chapter 3.)


The analyses


In early attempts to analyze popular music, approaches were simply borrowed from the Western classical music tradition without any real challenge to their relevance.[27] When more appropriate methods for studying popular music would be developed, they would typically satisfy the specific desire to elevate popular music studies within the established musicological tradition. Thus many analyses continued to reflect the values commonly attributed, rightly or wrongly, to Western classical music. Anne Danielsen writes: メLinear, teleological, or ヤclosedユ musical forms are in a larger historical and geographical context the exception rather than the rule. All the same, they hold a privileged position in the West, not only within musicology but in the general populace: the underlying values of this notion of music, such as unity, development, and complexity, have come to characterize the very notion of music itself.モ[28] In her study of funk music, on the other hand, Danielsen determines that grooves are the most significant components of the reception of the material in question, while linearity and development are less relevant.[29] Grooves are my main interest here as well, because they expose the relevant correspondences between music and body movements. Thus, there are no analyses of large-scale structural forms in this study.[30]


Numerous scholars within various fields of musicology have emphasized the importance of movement to the reception of music.[31] In popular music the capacity to evoke body movement is constantly under consideration, even when the music is not specifically regarded as dance music. Still, there have not been many attempts to develop methods for studying the relationship between musical features and body movements, and I try to rectify this through my analyses of grooves in electronic dance music tracks. The poumtchak pattern is my point of departure, and other elements and events are analyzed primarily in relation to this pattern. The potential for movement in specific grooves was first apparent from my own subjective experiences; this gives rise in turn to suggestions for movement patterns that are then drawn into notational representations or sonograms of the music.


In relation to this, it is important to address the presence of the writer and especially the body (and mind) in the analyses of music in this study. Being white, male, heterosexual, European, and in my mid-forties, I am part of the dominant group of contributors to musicology. But my background with clubbing and dancing may allow me further insight into the culture in question, in relation to corporeality and to the production of music there. Around the turn of the millennium I took part in a music project (with four musicians) that focused mainly on house and techno music; we released a twelve-inch single and performed at various clubs in Oslo. I have been composing and performing music using sequencers, drum machines, and synthesizers since I first played in a synth band in the mid-1980s. I therefore do not attempt to inhabit some sort of neutral position in relation to this music. On the contrary, my background as a musician, fan, and dancer clearly resonates throughout the whole study. Thus, in line with Richard Middletonユs description of the メscholar fanモ in his article on musical gestures from 1993,[32] this study is conducted with an honest devotion to the music.


I have decided mainly to deal with cultural context, rhythmic elements, and aspects of actual sound separately, though I attempt to unite them in my concluding analysis here. Sonograms support the analyses in chapter 6 and 8 because their visual display with a vertical axis that reflects musical verticality (from low to high frequencies) resonates well with the vertical movement patterns of my interpretations. I will briefly introduce my use of sonograms here; my analytical approach is presented in chapter 6.



Sonograms (or spectrograms) represent sound through stored digital information in a sound file.[33] The computer program analyzes this file (using FFT, or メfast Fourier transformモ algorithms) and displays the result as a graph, with frequency on the vertical axis and time on the horizontal axis. Dynamics are displayed through degrees of density in the colouring. Harmonic sounds appear with the fundamental tone (with most density) lowest and with its harmonics as identical lines above. I consistently use a logarithmic scale for the frequency axis, as seen in fig. 0.2, which allows for lower frequencies to occupy a larger portion of the visual representation, so as to demonstrate more clearly the contrast between high and low frequencies. In contrast to a linear scale (fig. 0.1), this option also better parallels what we actually hear when listening to music, since the frequency (and loudness) response of the ear is more accurately represented logarithmically.[34]




Figure 0.1: Sonogram using linear scale of a poumtchak pattern from Daft Punkユs Phマnix, 00.15–00:17.

Figure 0.2: Sonogram using logarithmic scale of a poumtchak pattern from Daft Punkユs Phマnix, 00.15–00:17.


In the two sonograms above, the bass drum sounds are seen as four dark areas towards the bottom (on figure 0.1, they are in fact only thin dark lines), while the hi-hat sounds are displayed as four pillars. As can be seen, the hi-hat sounds occupy a much larger portion on the sonogram using the linear scale than on the logarithmic version. In my analyses I take advantage of the options in the computer program to alter my logarithmic settings, zooming in on those features I want to portray. Thus the settings will not be constant across sonograms (except when two or more are placed within the same figure). Both the horizontal and the vertical axes may occupy different areas in relation to time or frequency range, and the density that represents dynamics can be altered as well to display the elements in question most clearly. The FFT window size has for the most part been set to 1024 samples (sample rate 44.1kHz), but has occasionally been varied for the same purpose. Similarly, I mainly use a rectangular window type.[35] I intend for these sonograms, sometimes in combination with traditional notation and amplitude representations, first and foremost to escort listening by displaying those musical elements that I want to highlight in my analytical interpretations.


Music and body movements


Corporeality in music has been a rather neglected issue in musicology. Why is this so? And how is this related to prevailing opinions about music listening? Is corporeality dealt with differently in the various fields of musicology? Can it be addressed in a music analysis? As an introduction to the topics of this study, these questions will be considered here.


Corporeality in music listening


The connection between music and body movement seems immediately obvious already in light of how musical sound is made. Body movements produce sounds on instruments, and very few musicians are able to play properly without a repertoire of auxiliary move­ments as well:[36] the jazz pianist might tap his or her foot to keep time, while the classical clarinettist might embody his or her melodic phrases through dips of head and shoulders.[37] Such connections are equally apparent in the reception of music, and especially dance music – body movements respond to specific features in the music of choreographed classical ballet, stylized folk dance, and improvised club dance. But movement is also part of the reception of music not intended specifically for dancing. As Simon Frith writes in the influential book Performing Rites, メA good rock concert . . . is measured by the audienceユs physical response, by how quickly people get out of their seats . . . by how loudly they shout and scream. And rock performers are expected to revel in their own physicality too, to strain and sweat and collapse with tiredness.モ[38] In most popular music, jazz, and almost any folk music, the connection between music and body movement for performer and listener is obvious from various incidences of foot tapping, head nodding, body swaying, clapping, singing along, doing dance-related movements, or in various ways mimicking sound-producing actions (playing メair guitarモ).


In the Western classical music tradition this connection may well appear less relevant. The conductor may gesticulate exaggeratedly and the musicians certainly move while producing sound, but concert hall audiences are generally supposed to sit perfectly still, participating in the event only through mental concentration. Describing the listening environment of the concert hall, Patrick Shove and Bruno Repp write, メA social proscription against overt movement by listeners has long been in effect.モ[39] The ideal of silent, attentive listening in concert halls is a social phenomenon that advanced only during the nineteenth century. Richard Sennet writes:


To sneer at people who showed their emotions at a play or concert became de rigueur by the mid-nineteenth century. Restraint of emotion in the theater became a way for middle-class audiences to mark the line between themselves and the working class. A メrespectableモ audience by the 1850s was an audience that could control its feelings through silence; the old spontaneity was called メprimitive.モ The Beau Brummell ideal of restraint in bodily appearance was being matched by a new ideal of respectable noiselessness in public.[40]


While Sennet occupies himself with the sociological causes for this shift, James Johnson views it in relation to the music that was introduced at the time – for example, the work of Beethoven, which according to Johnson, simply demanded more concentrated listening.[41] Johnson, as well as Lydia Goehr,[42] disdains the eighteenth-century audience for being primarily occupied with social activities when attending concerts. William Weber in turn takes both to task for endorsing a specifically post-Romantic view of listening that is replete with distrust of メany fusion between music and mundane social activities which are felt to violate the integrity of musical experience.モ[43]


Eric F. Clarke suggests that an ideological component – some understanding of what constitutes メproper listeningモ – may be メthe most significant factor in the listening environment.モ[44] And the noisier and rather unrestrained listening environment of the eighteenth century may well have been more receptive to music that invited corporeal involvement. After the premiere of his Symphony No. 31 (the メParisモ symphony) in 1778, Mozart wrote the following in a letter to his father: メJust in the middle of the first Allegro there was a passage which I felt sure must please. The audience were quite carried away – and there was a tremendous burst of applause. But as I knew, when I wrote it, what effect it would surely produce.モ[45] The passage Mozart refers to has two quite intense ascending pitch movements, each followed by a slower descending movement, and they probably inspired the applause, figuratively (and perhaps literally) lifting the audience. Mozart would almost certainly not have achieved the same overt response from his audience a century later, and this absence of an immediate and satisfying response to the corporeal effects of music may have pushed subsequent generations of composers in new directions.


The shift to an ideal of silent, attentive listening during the nineteenth century is probably part of a complex train of events regarding new musical priorities. Jeremy Gilbert and Ewan Pearson point to Western philosophyユs dismissal of corporeality in musical experiences.


Music is understood by this tradition as being problematic in its capacity to affect us in ways which seem to bypass the acceptable channels of language, reason and contemplation. In particular, it is musicユs apparent physicality, its status as a source of physical pleasure, which is problematic. By the same token, this tradition tends to demand of music that it – as far as possible – be meaningful, that even where it does not have words, it should offer itself up as an object of intellectual contemplation such as is likely to generate much meaningful discourse. Even those forms of modernist music which have aspired to pure abstraction (in particular the tradition of serial music), have been written with an emphasis on complexity and a deliberate intellectualism which foregrounds the musicユs status as objects of rational contemplation rather than as a source of physical pleasure.[46]


Though the Western philosophical tradition obviously comprises a wide range of understandings and beliefs, Gilbert and Pearson raise a compelling point.[47] Its emphasis on rational thought has probably encouraged composers, musicians, critics, and scholars to focus on intellectual approaches to music rather than corporeal ones. The ultimate ascension of the intellectual approach to music listening – for example, the descriptions of listening types by Theodore Adorno[48] – and its emphasis on the structure, development, and linearity of musical works are at least partially to blame for the Western scholarly disinterest in connections between music listening and body movements even in the twentieth century.[49] Andrew DellユAntonio observes that メstructural listening highlights an intellectual response to music to the almost total exclusion of human physical presence – whether that of the performer or that of the listener.モ[50]


In contrast, new listening environments connected to jazz and popular music from the mid-twentieth century on not only endorsed corporeality in music listening but if fact sought it. The music, with its focus on rhythm, encouraged participation via overt body movements and dancing. And at the end of the century, needless to say, these new traditions had come to dominate Western music cultures.


The longtime suppression of corporeality in Western classical music shaped the various fields of musicology and their areas of interest, few of which involved the body. Even in the field of music psychology, most of the research projects related to music listening have been conducted using Western classical music. Thus the attentive but physically passive way of listening associated with this music culture has provided the overarching model for research in this field. With the more recent interest in corporeality within the field of cognitive psychology this has begun to change, but the discipline is still influenced by its traditional tendency to discount the human body in its inquiries.[51]


corporeality in the field of music psychology


In her book Deep Listeners: Music, Emotion, and Trancing the ethnomusicologist Judith Becker points to the influence of Cartesian mind/body dualism on Western thinking in general, and theories of music psychology in particular: メMusical thinking was clearly within the realm of res cogito, intentional, imaginative, cognitive, in the brain.モ[52] The linguist Noam Chomsky largely maintained a Cartesian dualism in his own works, focusing exclusively on mental as opposed to physical processes concerning language.[53] Through his contributions to theoretical linguistics and generative models of grammar, he exerted a powerful influence upon musicologists who sought similar models for music.[54] Within music psychology, such models also provided an important theoretical and methodological foundation whose hierarchical relationships in musical structures could be in turn reapplied to cognitive matters. Chomskyユs focus on mental processes transferred particularly smoothly to models where musical entities were treated exclusively as メmental products imposed on or inferred from the physical signals.モ[55] Vijay Iyer critiques this view:


However, because so much musical behaviour is nonlinguistic in nature, music tends to challenge dominant linguistic paradigms, which reduce all cognition to rational thought processes such as problem solving, deductive reasoning, and inference. With its emotional and associative qualities and its connection to dance and ritual, music seems to provide a counterexample to such theories of mind.[56]


Musicology in the 1980s was even more centred on Western classical music than it is today,[57] and so music psychologists formed the various areas of investigation within their discipline accordingly. Problems related to rhythm were thus given far less attention than those related to pitch or melody.[58] Norms for listening practices from classical music concert halls were relocated to the laboratory, where experiments were conducted in sedentary, undisturbed settings far removed from social contexts (and often actual musical contexts as well). A typical rhythm study might be carried out as a scientific experiment with headphones and non-musical sounds, whereby subjects would be asked to perform various finger tapping operations in the interest of quantifiable data.[59] In such experiments, body movements related to the music (other than the finger tapping) were rarely an issue. Moreover, the relevance of different aspects of sound for the perception of rhythm was hardly ever discussed. While such experiments certainly produced significant empirical material, an ignorance or dismissal of their shortcomings often led to debatable conclusions, especially with regard to those musical cultures that are relatively distant from Western classical music.[60]


In the 1980s, then, the field of cognitive science came to rely upon a theoretical approach to human cognition that likened it to the information processing of a computer. In such models music could be reduced to strings of symbols that might in turn be subjected to algorithmic operations. Faith in quantitative scientific methods and the ultimate transparency of mental processes underpinned all.[61] This information-processing model probably shaped thinking on issues related to cognition considerably, as Eric F. Clarke writes: メThe standard information-processing account tends to be disembodied and abstract, as if perception was a kind of reasoning or problem-solving process, reflecting the strong influence of cybernetics, information theory, and artificial intelligence on cognitive psychology.モ[62]


Within the discipline of music psychology, then, processes related to music perception were modelled on computers, often in collaboration with computer music research and the development of software for algorithmic composition.[63] Yet com­puters could not deal with too many perspectives or conditions simultaneously.[64] As computers expanded in processing power, more sophisticated artificial models of cognitive processes began to arise. Following certain developments in the fields of psy­chology and computer science,[65] メconnectionist computer modelsモ replaced rule-based systems in realizations of メartificial neural networks.モ The main improvement of the connectionist model was its ability to learn from experiences.[66] In a book on music and connectionism, Peter Todd and Gareth Loy describe the heady possibility of such models: メTheir ability to learn and store information, satisfy multiple constraints simul­taneously, categorize stimuli, abstract features, create new representations, complete patterns, and generalize to novel inputs in ways akin to human and animal behavior makes these systems particularly attractive for modeling a variety of phenomena.モ[67] Tasks such as classifying melodies based on certain learned empirical material within a restricted musical context could be achieved rather successfully, but even quite sophisticated models were unable to emulate the complex, often unconscious interaction of body and mind in human perception. In music cultures focused on dance and bodily participation, these are pivotal issues, as Becker points out:


To those who use the traditional models of music cognition, the idea of incorporating a much messier, much more complex, and uncertain model based on biology and phenomenology can seem like a giant step backward, away from scientific elegance, away from empirical controls, away from universality. Yet we experience music with our skins, with our pulse rates, and with our body temperature. To subscribe to a theory of musical cognition which cannot deal with the embodiment of music, of the involvement of the senses, the visceral system, and the emotions is to maintain a Cartesian approach of mind/body dualism.[68]


Certain individual contributions within the field of music psychology – especially those related to rhythm – defy this stereotypical lack of メembodiment.モ Paul Fraisse, a distinguished contributor within the field, incorporates an awareness of various corporal practices as a starting point for an understanding of rhythm: メBoth animals and people move about with rhythmic movements characteristic of their species.モ[69] Certain other studies of rhythm and/or performance from the 1980s also integrate an understanding of the moving body into music psychology in various ways.[70]


More recently there has been an increasing awareness of (and interest in) the cultural and body-related aspects of cognition. A growing literature within the fields variously connected to cognition (including neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, and computer science) deals with topics like embodiment, the embodied mind, the embodied existence, embodied interaction, or embodied cognition.[71] As professor of philosophy Shaun Gallagher writes in his 2005 book How the Body Shapes the Mind: メBodily movement is closely tied in various ways to perception and to other forms of cog­nition and emotion. Indeed, there is now a large amount of evidence from a variety of studies and disciplines to show that the body, through its motor abilities, its actual movements, and its posture, informs and shapes cognition.モ[72] These changes in scholarly approach are also visible at international conferences on music and gesture and within a growing literature on embodied perspectives in music.[73] Mark Leman suggests the following premises for an embodied music cognition:


The human body can be seen as a biologically designed mediator that transfers physical energy up to a level of action-oriented meanings, to a mental level in which experiences, values, and intentions form the basic components of music signification. The reverse process is also possible: that the human body transfers an idea, or mental representation, into a material or energetic form. This two-way mediation process is largely constrained by body movements, which are assumed to play a central role in all musical activities. The embodied music cognition approach assumes that the (musical) mind results from this embodied interaction with music.[74]


corporeality in ethnomusicology and popular music studies


Ethnomusicology and popular music studies have also been influenced by the priorities within musicology, so corporeality in music has been a somewhat controversial issue. Nevertheless, the presence of a connection between music and body movements has typically been more evident in the various music cultures engaged by these disciplines, and the topic has been discussed in a variety of ways.


Ethnomusicological studies of African music cultures have in particular contrasted those habits of musical participation, body movement, and dance with their Western alternatives. John Blacking, an influential figure in ethnomusicology and writings on African music, edited a volume entitled The Anthropology of the Body in 1977. Though Blackingユs interest was in cultural processes and the body in social constructions, some of the volumeユs contributors dealt more directly with music and bodily movements, in both performance and reception (that is, participation in various music-centred gatherings).[75] John Miller Chernoff wrote in 1979 that the most fundamental cultural aesthetic in Africa is probably expressed through bodily participation: メWhen you ask an African friend whether or not he ヤunderstandsユ a certain type of music he will say yes if he knows the dance that goes with it.モ[76]


This close relationship between music and dance was also emphasized by J. H. Kwabena Nketia in his 1974 book on the music of Africa:


Although purely contemplative music, which is not designed for dance or drama, is practiced in African societies in restricted contexts, the cultivation of music that is integrated with dance, or music that stimulates affective motor response, is much more prevalent. For the African, the musical experience is by and large an emotional one: sounds, however beautiful, are meaningless if they do not offer this experience or contribute to the expressive quality of a performance.[77]


In a chapter titled メInterrelations of Music and Dance,モ Nketia continues, メMotor response intensifies oneユs enjoyment of music through the feelings of increased involvement and the propulsion that articulating the beat by physical movement generates.モ[78] This also holds true, of course, for the audiences of popular music and dance music, and may partly explain those genresユ immense increase in popularity over the previous century.


The link between music and body movement also enters discussions concerning the African influence on African American music, as Olly Wilson observes about メmusic-making within the Afro-American contextモ:[79] メThis attitude is an important part of the approach to making music which the ヤAfrican exilesユ brought with them as subliminal cultural baggage when they came to the Western Hemisphere.モ[80] Frith discusses the problems associated with defining African culture メas the body, the other of the bourgeois mind,モ[81] arising as it does from a musical mind/body split where some music is メheard as physical (fun), other music as cerebral (serious).モ[82] Barbara Ehrenreich points out that the European conquerors of the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries continuously met with indigenous rituals consisting of dancing, singing, and chanting, often by people in ecstatic or trancelike states: メEuropeans tended to view such activities, wherever they found them, as outbreaks of devil worship, lasciviousness, or, from a more ヤscientificユ perspective, hysteria.モ[83] This gave rise to a connection between the メsavageモ or メprimitiveモ and the physical dimension of music related to dance and rhythm. Anne Danielsen describes further how Europeans have identified themselves in opposition to African culture: メThe representation of African or black culture as barbarian in this sense has been part of the Western understanding of itself for centuries.モ[84] She identifies a メmetonymic relationモ here,[85] where concepts related to the culture-nature axis メsuch as (mind-)body, (intellect-)emotions, (complexity-) simplicityモ[86] are associated with European or African culture, respectively.[87] Danielsen also observes that studies of African music have in fact been reduced to analyses of rhythm,[88] and how the consideration of physicality within black music has revolved mainly around sexuality.[89] In popular music culture, the メothernessモ of African American music is often elevated and valued for the same dubious reasons it was traditionally suppressed within European music culture. Gilbert and Pearson describe, for example, how rave culture uses implications of メprimitivismモ such as メecstatic ritualsモ and メdance tribesモ in their advertisements.[90]


In an article from 1994, Susan McClary and Robert Walser discuss the theorization of the body in African American music, warning against dichotomies between music cultures based on their relation to the body.


For in such accounts, the mind and culture still remain the exclusive property of Eurocentric discourse, while the dancing body is romanticized as what is left over when the burdens of reason and civilization have been flung away. The binary opposition of mind and body that governs the condemnation of black music remains in force; even when the terms are inverted, they are always ready to flip back into their more usual positions.[91]


Popular music scholars, then, may be reluctant to address corporeality in music for fear of constructing dichotomies like those described by McClary and Walser. One way around this is to make perfectly clear that considerations of the body relate to all music and to elevate the purpose and meaning of corporeality in music. A dismissal of the issue altogether may on the other hand work against those genres of music where the appeal to participation with a moving body is most apparent. 


Dance music and club culture has occasionally been a focal point of investigation in popular music studies and, to a greater extent, in the related field of cultural studies.[92] The contextual significance of body movement has been present in most of this work.[93] Buckland describes how メthe pulse felt as if it was coming from deep inside your body. This connected the body with the soundscape environment, so that, rather than being acted upon, participants actively engaged and intervened with the soundscape.モ[94] Though a few scholars of musicology have tried to tackle the challenges put forward by club-related dance music,[95] new analytical methods are needed to address the connections between the body and these メsoundscapesモ more thoroughly.


Corporeality in music analysis


But how should a music analysis incorporate corporeality? This question has rarely been tackled.[96] In the following I will present two attempts to do so, one from popular music studies and one from ethnomusicology. They represent influential precedents to the analysis I will present in this study. 


The gestural analysis of popular music

In his 1993 article メPopular Music Analysis and Musicology: Bridging the Gap,モ Richard Middleton pursues a メtheory of gestureモ[97] that recognizes affective, cognitive, and kinetic aspects of music. He asserts that メhow we feel and how we understand musical sounds is organised through processual shapes which seem to be analogous to physical gestures.モ[98] Concerned that the actual sounds in music are not sufficiently studied via traditional approaches, Middleton wants to renegotiate メthe level of primary significationモ[99] in order to bring メthe patterns created in the sounds themselves back into the foreground.モ[100] He presents the proposals of Hungarian musicologist Jnos Mar葉hy regarding a broad appreciation of rhythm as a basic principle of human existence, and rhythmic sensations as fundamental to universal human experience.[101] Emphasizing also the cultural implications regarding Mar葉hyユs thinking, Middleton then defines the メmusical gestureモ as a communicative performance メof somatic processes through structurally analogous musical processesモ.[102] He therefore highlights similarities or (figurative) resonance between aspects of musical sound and corporeal experiences. He further recognizes the need for a means of identifying and categorizing such structures, above and beyond their obvious rhythmic underpinnings: メThere are vital roles too for the rhythms governing phraseology; chord and textural change; patterns of accent and intensity, of vocal ヤbreathing,ユ vibrato, and sustain; not to mention the micro-rhythms responsible for the inner life of sounds themselves, and the quasi-ヤspatialユ rhythms organising the hierarchies of relative pitch strength and tonal tension, both in melodic contour and in harmonic sequences.モ[103] Middletonユs theory builds on Mar葉hyユs spectrum of corporeal movements using rhythmic groupings such as periods, measures, beats, and subdivisions of the beat. The メobvious corporeal movements at one endモ[104] resemble the longer periods, measures, or beats, while the メneural pulsations at the otherモ[105] resembles smaller microrhythmic subdivisions.


Based on this theoretical framework, Middleton explores an analytical method that in fact relies upon correlations between sounds, movement, and significance. He applies his gestural analysis to Madonnaユs Whereユs the Party (1985) and Bryan Adamsユs (Everything I Do) I Do It for You (1990); the former, which is more groove-oriented, will interest me here. Middletonユs analysis consists of two-dimensional diagrams followed by a few paragraphs of text; the verse and chorus are located above and below the double line in the diagram, respectively.[106] Middleton describes five elements of the music: the groove, the shapes of the repeating chord sequences, the vocal phraseology, the micro-gestures of individual sounds, and the texture. The first three elements are illustrated in some way in the diagram.[107]



Figure 0.3: Middletonユs gesture-analysis diagram of Madonna: Whereユs the Party.[108]


Several of Middletonユs illustrations are closely connected to issues of musical verticality – for example, the chord sequences that are rendered with descending and ascending lines according to pitch-based movement.[109] The most direct relationships between musical structure and bodily movement, Middleton finds, concern the groove: メIn typical disco fashion, this is founded on a heavy regular beat – that is, on the feet. But predominantly strong-beat bass is complemented by back-beat snare drum (sways of body?), strung on a sixteen-to-the-bar cymbal chatter (felt as a sort of muscular vibration?).モ[110] Middleton also alludes to a メhit-point,モ which he pictures as a possible upper-body jerk. Finally, he discusses the relationship between strict metrical divisions and actual performed rhythms.


Most compelling here, perhaps, is Middletonユs identification of three possible body movements in relation to various rhythmic groupings. The feet and the body sway seem to be connected to quarter notes (the heavy regular pulse, as well as the strong-beat bass on 1 and 3 and snare drum on 2 and 4), while メmuscular vibrationモ seems centred on sixteenth notes. But how are these relations represented in the diagram?


Middleton only appears to illustrate two rhythmic elements: the sixteen black triangles above and below the undulating line for the verse and the chorus most likely indicate the strong-beat bass and back-beat snare drum. According to the chord sequences and vocal lines, the horizontal musical periods provided here consist of four measures (of 4/4 time), so the triangles below the line probably indicate the strong-beat bass (on 1 and 3) while those above indicate the snare drum (on 2 and 4). The undulating line is not totally consistent but seems to point to sixteenth notes, thus referring to the cymbal メchatter described in the quotation above.


Middletonユs presentation of the groove in the diagram, then, is sketchy. Do the triangles and undulating line in fact represent specific musical gestures? Are they connected to the musicユs production, reception, or both? Do they in fact illustrate probable body movement patterns? A challenge with such diagrams is to address as many priorities as possible but also to reflect their relative importance. I find the heavy regular pulse that Middleton identifies as the foundation of the track to be so important that it should be represented more explicitly in the diagram – an undulating line indicating head nodding, foot tapping, or similar movement patterns would probably be recognized by many readers. Lastly, the effect of the cymbal on muscular vibration is probably more sporadic than steady, as it is rendered here.


Middletonユs written description certainly illuminates a few more aspects concerning other instruments as well, but his diagram here serves more as an introduction to new analytical practices than as a thorough analysis of the groove of this track. Nevertheless, his work here is exceptional in popular music studies in its presentation of a theory and method that seek to explore the connection between music and body movement and find better ways to illustrate it.


The analysis of the patterned メlibrationモ of folk dances

In his studies of Norwegian folk music,[111] Jan-Petter Blom is consistently concerned with the relevance of dancersユ body movements: メMy point of departure is the hypothesis that the perception and expression of musical rhythm is intimately linked to experiences of body movements, and that our concepts of rhythm are mirrored by the way in which we move our body in synchrony with music.モ[112] Blom positions this hypothesis contextually: members of the same local group will learn to associate between music and movement in order to coordinate their dancing; dancers and musicians (the fiddlers) メbase their interaction on shared notions of rhythm.モ[113] Thus Blom proposes this shared rhythm as a basis for his analysis: メA conceptualization of such implicit understandings should preferably take the concrete rhythm of the dance as its point of departure (rather than the mere abstract and generalized musical expression) and use the models of such rhythms as the basis for musical interpretation.モ[114] Blom continues with a description of locomotory body movements in folk dances that leads to his focal point, a メpatterned libration of the bodyユs centre of gravityモ[115] that in essence corresponds to an up-down body movement. The vertical extremes are connected with straight lines and visualized in a y=space and x=time graph. He begins with a comparison between a normal elastic gait and a Norwegian waltz.



Figure 0.4: Blomユs comparison between a normal gait and a Norwegian waltz.[116]


Blom uses both notation and beat markers (numbers) to visualize relations between beats in the music and the movements of the dancers, and as the waltz example demonstrates, notation alone would have been insufficient for Blomユs interpretation of the rhythm. He also notates which foot is being used (R, L) and uses hyphens and ties to portray changes in or continuity of support in the movements.


Blom later introduces the terms メthesisモ for a falling bodily movement and メarsisモ for a lifting bodily movement and uses them to describe relationships between phases of the movement over the duration of a beat. Blom uses his method and his visualizations to illustrate various types of Norwegian folk dances as well as local variations upon them.


Figure 0.5: Blomユs comparison of two local variations of the folk dance メspringar.モ[117]


In a published dialogue with Tellef Kvifte, Blom argues for an interpretation of metrical ambiguity that derives from how dancers interpret the rhythm.


The dancersユ movements, however, are consistently performed in unevenly divided beats (2:1 or 1:2) and never transformed to a 3 x 2/8 meter, on the basis of which I predict: (i) that dancers, irrespective of musical context in terms of phrasings, features of tonality and melodic structure always experience the musical meter of the bowing figures M as inferred behaviourally by them, and (ii) that traditional fiddlers who are constantly involved in situations of dance in the role of leader, syncronizer [sic] and inspirer, are expressing and communicating the particular rhythm of the swinging bodies and therefore also experience their own and othersユ performances accordingly. Hence the striking isomorphism between music and dance can be inferred as a case of symbolic transformation.[118]


Musicians and dancers, then, share experiences of how their bodies swing according to the rhythm. Nevertheless, Kvifte criticizes Blomユs theory for its disregard for experiential qualities: Blom does not allow for the potential of a certain groove to relate to different possible patterns of movement. This points to Blomユs principal difference with Middleton as well. While Middleton tries to interpret structures in the music that might relate to body movements, Blom privileges the performance practice itself.[119] A folk dance involves relatively more structured and specific moves, of course, whereas Madonnaユs track relates to a practice of improvised social dancing where dancers may switch among several suitable patterns of body movement. Still, Blomユs notion of メthe rhythm of the danceモ[120] also applies to more improvised dancing styles. Though various musical structures might trigger body movements in dance music, some of those structures are more prominent than others. Blom points out that his メprocedure is analogous to what conductors do to music when performing their rhythmic gestures in front of the orchestra.モ[121] This comparison recalls studies of movement in Western classical music.


The German musicologists Gustav Becking (1894–1945) and Alexander Truslit (1889–1971) were both also concerned with pulse, rhythm, musical motion, and bodily movement. Becking argued for a メdynamic rhythmic flowモ that existed beneath the musicユs surface, a continuous up-down motion that メconnects points of metric gravity which vary in relative weight.モ[122] He further claimed that various composers favoured particular distributions of these weights. Truslit did not see this flow as existing below the musical surface; he was interested in the direct information of rhythm, musical motion and bodily movement in the sound patterns themselves. But, like Becking, he distinguished between three basic types of motion curves to describe basic patterns of movement.[123]


With regard to musicユs fundamental rhythmic level and its connection to bodily movement, then, a conductorユs メrhythmic gestures,モ[124] as Blom describes them, might in turn evoke Truslitユs motion curves or Beckingユs personal distributions of weights by various composers. In electronic dance music, of course, such a rhythmic level can be overtly demonstrated by head nodding, foot tapping, upper-body bouncing, and other body movements by both performers (DJs) and receivers (listeners/dancers). Truslit in particular emphasizes the information directly available in the sound patterns, and in this study I will present sources for such information in the music in question and subsequently discuss its possible effect upon body movement.


Outline of the thesis


The approach of the dance music producer


The structure of this study follows a typical dance music production. Since a producerユs starting point is obviously his or her cultural affiliation, I begin with the cultural context of the music in question, which affects compositional work, the choice of music equipment, and production techniques. The next step in a producerユs work on a particular track is to establish a basic beat, the rhythmic pattern that will likely evoke the basic movement pattern of the music. When the basic beat is in place, he or she will introduce other rhythmic patterns. The final step relates to the sound – both the specific sounds used in the track and the outcomes of the effect processing and mixing. These, then, are the four parts of my thesis: the cultural context, the basic beat, the rhythm, and the sound.


The analogy of the producer also resonates with the process of writing. The producer may, with a digital sampler, extract pieces of music from earlier recordings and use them in his or her own production. Similarly, I use quotes from books and articles to support arguments and illuminate certain issues. The honest producer will reference those original recordings in the CD booklet, but some samples may be altered to such an extent that they are no longer recognizable (or able to be credited). Though I have not deliberately altered any material without giving credit to its originator, I am convinced that in the process of studying and writing, the thoughts and ideas of others have been co-opted.[125] Hopefully, I have done them all justice.





Part I: The cultural context

The first part of this study consists of two chapters that introduce the cultural context of electronic dance music. In chapter 1 I present a historical overview that extends from 1970s disco music culture to 1990s electronic dance music culture. I identify several influential contributors, clubs, and events, but I mainly focus on those developments that shaped expectations and fields of tension within the respective cultures. In chapter 2 I focus on developments in the production of dance music and changes in music technology within the same time period.


Part II: The basic beat

The focal point in the second part is the basic beat of the track – in this case, the poumtchak pattern. In chapter 3, I thoroughly explore the poumtchak pattern and introduce the intimate link between this pattern and vertical movement patterns. The chapter ends with a survey mapping the congruence of body movement direction among listeners exposed to the poumtchak pattern.


In chapter 4, I present theories that in various ways support, elucidate, or explain the proposed correspondence between the musical poumtchak pattern and a vertical movement pattern. The chapter starts out with discussions about attention and perception and continues with motor processes. Central topics include an ecological approach to music listening, the theory of entrainment and how we attend to musical rhythm, motor-mimetic processes, and musical verticality. This material informs my subsequent analyses and discussions of electronic dance music.


Part III: The rhythm

In the third part I examine the rhythmic elements of electronic dance music. In chapter 5, I discuss how an approach to rhythm via body movement and dance challenges traditional views of rhythm perception. I also discuss the term メgroove.モ Chapter 6 contains my analyses of rhythm, which aim to illuminate musical elements with regard to their potential for evoking body movement, particularly with regard to the interaction between the poumtchak pattern and other rhythmic elements or patterns.


Part IV: The sound

In the fourth part I consider the analysis of sound. In chapter 7, I discuss certain central problems that are involved here and introduce some methodological tools in relation to my own analytical approach. Chapter 8 contains my analyses of sound, especially those aspects of it that may relate to body movement and the poumtchak pattern. I delve into the various characteristics of specific sounds as well as the possible impact of mixing processes and effects assigned to longer segments of the dance track.



In the conclusion, I sum up the content of the four parts by bringing all of these different areas of interest together in one final analysis of an excerpt from an electronic dance music track. I then reflect on the relevance and limitations of my study and propose directions for future research.


Continue to part I

Return to Index

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[1] Brewster & Broughton 2006:66.

[2] Improvised social dancingモ is adopted from Fiona Buckland (Buckland 2002:7).

[3] The negligible attention given to dance and dance music in rock historiansユ overviews of the 1960s probably reflects the new rock audienceユs disdain for the more dance-oriented rockユnユroll of the 1950s; see, for example, Stuessy & Lipscomb 2003 and Charlton 2003.

[4] Frith 1996:124.

[5] This is to a certain extent comparable to changes in the scholarly discourses around jazz music. Scott DeVeaux writes: メThere is an implicit entelechy in the progression from early jazz to bebop: the gradual shedding of utilitarian associations with dance music, popular song, and entertainment, as both musicians and public become aware of what jazz really is, or could be. With bebop, jazz finally became an art musicモ (DeVeaux 1998:498; emphasis in the original).

[6] Central texts here are Tagg 1982 and Middleton 1983 and 1986 (summarized and continued in Middleton 1990, part 2).

[7] See Tagg 1982:41 and Middleton 1990:103–115.

[8] For example; Moore 2001, Hawkins 2002, and Walser 2003.

[9] This work is discussed later in this introduction.

[10] This pattern will be described in detail in chapter 3 but referred to in overview contexts before then as well. A notational representation is presented in chapter 3.

[11] Throughout this study I will refer to body movements such as head nodding, foot tapping and upper-body bouncing as メvertical movement patterns,モ and I will largely constrain my use of メmovementモ to contexts of the body, not the music, except when I am discussing ascending and descending pitch movements.

[12] Walser 2003:37.

[13] Ibid.:38.

[14] Tagg 1982:47.

[15] See Hawkins 2001 and 2003 and Danielsen 2006.

[16] Tagg 1982:45. The term メmusemesモ was originally invented by Charles Seeger (Seeger 1960).

[17] See Middleton 1983:238.

[18] Ibid.:258.

[19] Tagg 1982:44.

[20] Loc. cit. Emphasis in the original.

[21] See Thornton 1995, Rietveld 1998, Gilbert & Pearson 1999, and Fikentscher 2000. Other books (for example, Kempster 1996, Sicko 1999, Brewster & Broughton 1999/2006, Reynolds 1999, Lawrence 2003, and Shapiro 2005) and magazines (for example, Mixmag, DJ, DJ Times Magazine) have also been important for my study of the cultural context of electronic dance music.

[22] See, for example, Fikentscher 2000 and Buckland 2002.

[23] Butler lists numerous possible topics and subtopics that can be relevant to the study of electronic dance music; see Butler 2006:6.

[24] See Langlois 1992, Tagg 1994, and Hawkins 2001, 2003, and 2008.

[25] Tagg 1982:45.

[26] Ibid.:49.

[27] See Middleton 1990:115–118 and Moore 2001:11ff for discussions of studies that are problematic in this respect.

[28] Danielsen 2006:150.

[29] See also Walser 2004, where grooves are very important to his understanding of the popularity of the group Earth, Wind and Fire.

[30] Examples of analyses of large-scale structural forms in electronic dance music can be found in Hawkins 2003 and Butler 2006, chapter 6.

[31] See, for example, Keil 1966, Blacking 1977, Chernoff 1979, Blom 1981, Middleton 1993, Frith 1996, Todd 1999, Hawkins 2003, Godソy 2003, Clarke 2005, Philips-Silver & Trainor 2005, Butler 2006, Danielsen 2006, and Kvifte 2007.

[32] Middleton 1993:180.

[33] The sonograms in this study are made in the software computer program Amadeus Pro.

[34] Hawkins uses a sonogram with a linear representation of the material in his study of a dance music track. The area below 1000 Hertz, however, which is generally very important in dance music, then occupies only 1/17th of the vertical scale. See Hawkins 2003:93.

[35] FFT window size determines the lengths of the メtime windowsモ used in an FFT analysis. Both time and frequency features are resolved fairly well at the medium length 1024 Hz. See Roads 1996:564–566 for an outline of the advantages of various window sizes. Window type determines the shape of these メtime windows.モ

[36] See further discussion of musicianユs movement repertoires in Jensenius 2007:54.

[37] The music educator Emile Jacque-Dalcroze (1865–1950) advocated an educational method (メeurhythmicsモ) that centred on rhythm and body movement; see Abramson 1986, Waadeland 2000:95ff.

[38] Frith 1996:124.

[39] Shove & Repp 1995:64.

[40] Sennet 1974:206.

[41] See Johnson 1995.

[42] Goehr 1992:191ff.

[43] Weber 1997:681.

[44] Clarke 2005:136.

[45] Quoted in Anderson 1966:558.

[46] Gilbert & Pearson 1999:42–43, emphasis in original.

[47] The dismissal of the human body in Western philosophy is investigated also in George Lakoff and Mark Johnsonユs Philosophy in the Flesh (1999). See also McClary 1994.

[48] See Adorno 1968:15ff. Adorno may not have intended to construct a hierarchy, but his description of the メexpert listenerモ has probably influenced subsequent notions of the proper experience of music. His expert has an intuitive understanding of form, structure, and the development of motives and themes (:15ff). See Clarke 2005:141ff for a further critique of Adornoユs listening types. In their categorization of different ways to listen to music, Rauhe et al (1975) include a メmotorisch-reflektorische (oder motorisch-reflexive) Rezeptionモ (:138), which points to those involuntary reactions to certain rhythmic motor phenomena in music that are unconsciously and spontaneously translated into corresponding physical movements (bobbing, oscillating, tapping, and so on). Adorno does not account for this.

[49] Within aesthetic philosophy in recent years, however, there has been a turn towards an engagement with bodily experience. Writers like Jean-Luc Nancy, Jonathan Ree, Richard Shusterman, and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht have situated the body solidly within the aesthetic experience. See, for example, Nancy 1996, Ree 1999, Shusterman 2000, and Gumbrecht 2004, all of which are influenced in various ways by Maurice Merleau-Pontyユs Phenomenology of Perception (1962). Roland Barthesユs several texts on the significance of the body in music listening are also relevant (see Barthes 1985).

[50] DellユAntonio 2004:8. Structural listening is also discussed in Subotnik 1988 and Cook 1990.

[51] Music psychology (or music cognition) has not been recognized as a discipline within musicology until recent years. Its flowering in the 1980s marked the beginning; the first edition of Diana Deutschユs (ed.) The Psychology of Music was published in 1982; the Society for Music Perception and Cognition was established in 1983; the first issue of the journal Music Perception came out the same year; and the first International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition was held in Kyoto, Japan in 1989.

[52] Becker 2004:5, emphasis in original.

[53] See Chomsky 1966. For a critique of Chomskyユs reliance upon Cartesian dualism, see Lackoff & Johnson 1999, chap. 22.

[54] See, for example, Longuet-Higgins & Lee 1982, Lerdahl & Jackendoff 1983, Todd 1985, and Narmour 1990 and 1992.

[55] Lerdahl & Jackendoff 1983:2.

[56] Iyer 2002:387–388.

[57] See critiques in, for example, Middleton 1990:103ff, Mar葉hy 2000:120, Dibben 2003:201 and Becker 2004:69.

[58] In the first edition of Deutschユs The Psychology of Music (1982) there are four chapters concerned with pitch and one chapter concerned with rhythm and tempo. Benadon discusses the same disparity in studies of jazz music; see Benadon 2006:73.

[59] See, for example, Deutsch 1983. Since music psychology in this way inclined to the natural sciences rather than the humanities, it failed to impact traditional musicologists concerned with aesthetics or history.

[60] See Windsor & Desain 2000:xiv for a prudent position concerning the pros and cons of laboratory-based rhythm research.

[61] The most categorical accounts of this approach are usually labelled メcognitivismモ.

[62] Clarke 2005:15.

[63] See, for example, Piszczalski & Galler 1982.

[64] An important critique of the computer model came from Hubert Dreyfus; see, for example, Dreyfus & Dreyfus et al. 1986.

[65] These developments were initiated in part by Rumelhart and McLelland and their two-volume work Parallel Distributed Processing from 1986.

[66] See Todd & Loy 1991 for articles on music and connectionism. See also Clarke 2005:25–32 for a comparison of connectionism to an ecological approach to perception. 

[67] Todd & Loy 1991:39.

[68] Becker 2004:6.

[69] Fraisse 1982:151. For a short introduction to the work of Fraisse; see Clarke 1999:473ff. Clarke writes that メthe relationship between perceptual capacities, sensorimotor organization, and human development is paramountモ in the work of Fraisse (1999:474). In one study Fraisse found a regular 1:1 movement to be by far the most common result of spontaneous tapping among test subjects: メFraisse regarded this as intimately connected with anatomical and motor properties – most notably the bilateral symmetry of the body, the pendular movements of the limbs in walking and running, and the regular alternation of exhalation and inhalation in breathingモ (1999:474). These connections are also relevant to my considerations of movement patterns related to the rhythmic poumtchak pattern.

[70] See, for example, Baily 1985, Kronman & Sundberg 1987, and Parncutt 1987.

[71] See, for example, Varela et al. 1991, Thelen 1995, Lakoff & Johnson 1999, Dourish 2001, Keijzer 2002, and Gallagher 2005. Antonio Damasioユs contributions concerning emotion and feeling and their role in cognitive processes like decision making and in the construction of the self is also relevant; see Damasio 1994, 2000, and 2004.

[72] Gallagher 2005:8.

[73] See, for example, Iyer 1998 and 2002, Zbikowski 1998 and 2004, Cox 1999 and 2001, Brower 2000, Aksnes 2002, Johnson & Larson 2003, Chuck 2004, Clarke 2005, Jensenius 2007, and Leman 2008.

[74] Leman 2008:xiii.

[75] See, for example, Kubik 1977 and Baily 1977.

[76] Chernoff 1979:23.

[77] Nketia 1974:206.

[78] Ibid.:207.

[79] Wilson 1985:10.

[80] Ibid.:12.

[81] Frith 1996:127.

[82] Ibid.:125. According to Frith this split is also found within popular music culture: メWhen rock (or jazz) acts move into seated concert halls, for example, it is often to register that the music is now ヤserious,ユ should now be appreciated quietlyモ (ibid.).

[83] Ehrenreich 2007:157.

[84] Danielsen 2006:21.

[85] Loc. cit.

[86] Loc. cit.

[87] Western dichotomies between manual labour and intellectual work, or physical education and theoretical subjects, may also contribute to the elevation of the intellectual approach in these studies.

[88]Danielsen 2006:24.

[89] Ibid.:27.

[90] Gilbert & Pearson 1999:31.

[91] McClary & Walser 1994:76.

[92] See, for example, Redhead 1993 and 1998, Thornton 1995, Rietveld 1998, Gilbert & Pearson 1999, Malbon 1999, Fikentscher 2000, McCall 2001, and Buckland 2002.

[93] An exception is Philip Taggユs article on rave music from 1994. He explicitly rejects the issue of corporeality, instead focusing on the non-individualist character of both the music and the culture. See Tagg 1994:211–212.

[94] Buckland 2002:70.

[95] See, for example, Hawkins 2001, 2003 and 2008, and Butler 2006.

[96] Krumhansl and Schenck (1997) have conducted an experiment on how a dance performance may reflect the structural and expressive qualities of Mozartユs Divertimento No. 15.

[97] Middleton 1993:177. His use of the term メgestureモ resembles how Rolf Inge Godソy and Marc Leman defines the term メmusical gestureモ as a combination of sound and movement that affords meaning. See Godソy & Leman 2010. Anne Danielsen, on the other hand, uses メfigureモ and メgestureモ to distinguish between sounding and non-sounding reference levels – メfigureモ comprises a virtual aspect of the メgesture,モ then, in line with the relationship between メsentenceモ and メutteranceモ in linguistics. A figure might be fulfilled through a variety of gestures but remains virtually present within the musical メschemaモ regardless. Danielsen does represent the figure through notation, but she is quick to point out the limitations involved here, especially with regard to a funk groove. メSchemaモ recalls the work of the Danish linguist Louis Hjelmslev; Danielsen also relies upon the philosophers Gilles Deleuze, Paul Ricマur, and Mikhail Bakhtin, and the linguists Ferdinand de Saussure and Emile Benveniste. See Danielsen 2006:46ff.

[98] Middleton 1993:177.

[99] Middleton 1990:220.

[100] Middleton 1993:177.

[101] Middleton refers to a typescript translation of a text by Mar葉hy and Batri (n.d.) that I cannot locate. Many of the same ideas seem to appear in Mar葉hyユs article メRite and Rhythm,モ however: メヤRhythmユ should include all periodic structures, that is, in music, also sound and tonal qualities on this side and formal structures on the other side of rhythm proper; and beyond music, all possible wave-like motions in the micro- and macrocosmモ (Mar葉hy 1993–94:421).

[102] Middleton 1993:178. For a further discussion on the concept of musical gesture, see Jensenius 2007:35.

[103] Ibid.:178–179.

[104] Ibid.:179.

[105] Loc. cit.

[106] In his introductory discussion to the analyses Middleton recognizes several problems with both the transition of musical gestures to verbal descriptions and the limitations of two-dimensional illustrations, 1993:110.

[107] In addition to the diagram there are two note examples of a guitar/keyboard riff and a bass variant (ibid.:183).

[108] Ibid.:182.

[109] Verticality in music will be discussed in chapter 4.

[110] Ibid.:181.

[111] Blom 1981, Blom & Kvifte 1986.

[112] Blom 1981:305.

[113] Loc. cit.

[114] Loc. cit.

[115] Loc. cit.; emphasis in the original.

[116] Loc. cit.

[117] Blom & Kvifte 1986:504.

[118] Ibid.:509; emphasis in the original.

[119] Blom notes that メthe article is primarily based on the authorユs own observations and analysesモ (Blom 1981:305), but how those observations and analyses were conducted is not clear.

[120] Blom 1981:305.

[121] Loc. cit.

[122] Shove & Repp 1995:67.

[123] The ideas of Becking and Truslit appear in Repp 1993 and Shove & Repp 1995:65–72.

[124] Blom 1981:305.

[125] The works of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, for example, were somewhat influential in the chapter on cultural context with regard to identifying negotiations about the meanings of words and concepts (Foucault) as well as dichotomies and power relations (Derrida). I do not use their approaches systematically, however, and their influence derives largely from secondhand knowledge rather than any detailed investigation of their works. There are no references to any books or articles by these writers, then, despite their general relevance to the study.