Melodic movement; the Ensouling of the
Three Dimensions through Pitch, Rhythm and Beat
Let us first see if you can manage the following exercise.
With the right arm, try to make a movement similar to the one I gave
for the forming of the seventh; now try to hold the arm still whilst
stepping forwards, so that the arm remains stationary, the body following
the direction of the arm. To do this you must bend your arm as you step.
The arm, the hand that is, must remain in the same place while you step
forwards. This exercise must be carried out in such a way that the arm,
the hand, remains where it is, while you come up and join it. This must
Now try another exercise:
While stepping forwards try to draw the hand back somewhat — not too
strongly, however. Now we have two exercises. Try to experience in succession
seventh and prime, and sixth and prime. The first movement just shown
expresses the succession of notes: seventh — prime; and the second
movement for the experience sixth — prime; the sound [of each interval]
imagined in succession. They can, however, also be imagined simultaneously;
I will speak about this a little later on. In this way you are able
to bring movement into the gesture.
The movement first shown
is one which, in a certain way, throws life back into the lifeless.
And indeed, as may be seen from yesterday's description of the seventh,
this is also the case in regard to its relationship to the keynote.
If you picture the keynote as the embodiment of calmness and quiet,
and the seventh as actually lying outside the physical body, so that
in the seventh the human being goes out of himself, then it will be
possible for you to imagine that by your going out, the seventh brings
back the spiritual quickening element into the resting, bodily part.
You see, these things
become vividly real when we pass over from the musical element to the
eurythmical element. Music naturally is something perceived, as it is
produced in the first place in order to be heard, whereas eurythmy brings
the whole human being into movement. And you will best recognize the
inner reality of what has just been said about the relationship of the
seventh to the keynote, from the fact that this can be therapeutically
effective. When for instance a hardening process in the lungs or some
other organ in the chest is diagnosed, it will be found that this very
exercise, as it has now been demonstrated, will have a healing, re-vitalizing
effect, helping to bring the condition back to normal.
It is precisely tone eurythmy
in all its elements, when suitably carried out, which is a factor in
eurythmy therapy. Only it is necessary to penetrate into the nature
of the musical sounds in a really living way, as we endeavoured to do
yesterday, and as we shall try to continue.
In this connection let
me also say the following. If, in a similar way to that which I have
just indicated, you go on from the seventh to the sixth in relation
to the keynote, you will find in this interval a noticeably weakened
relationship, and it is strikingly characteristic that the hand, which
is held stationary from outside in the case of the seventh, here goes
backwards. This does not express the relation of the living to the lifeless,
but the sixth in relation to the keynote is so expressed that you feel
it merely as motion, as a setting into activity. It may be compared
to a stimulation of feeling rather than to something which imparts life.
The sixth in relation to the keynote induces a picture of feeling. The
seventh in relation to the keynote induces a picture of life; it imparts
life to the lifeless.
And now, bearing in mind
these gestures (which will have shown you that in its essential being,
tone eurythmy must be movement), I will ask you to consider how tone
eurythmy, just as speech eurythmy, may after all provide a correcting
influence upon art as a whole.
It was necessary to tell
you that speech eurythmy has a corrective artistic influence upon recitation
and declamation. In introductions to public performances, for instance,
it is difficult to make use of the necessary drastic expressions which
are demanded if we are to describe the inartistic nature of our modern
age, for people would only be shocked, and very little would be gained.
Things have to be put mildly, as indeed I try to do. But the truth of
the matter is that in our inartistic age, recitation and declamation
have become completely degenerate. The laws of true art are no longer
observed in recitation and declamation. Everything is read like prose
in a thoroughly materialistic way. People think it must be felt out
of the gut instinctively; emphasis is determined by pathos, or something
of the sort, indeed by anything that makes an appeal to sensation or
sense-impression. Now true recitation and declamation must be based
upon the forming and shaping of the actual language, upon making speech
musical, and upon a sculptural, pictorial treatment of speech. And when
on the one hand we have a eurythmy performance, and on the other hand
recitation, then it is not possible to make use of recitation and declamation
in their present degenerate state. Attention must be paid to speech.formation.
I always describe this as a ‘hidden eurythmy’, for eurythmy is indicated
in recitation and declamation. Attention must be paid to the shaping
and forming of speech. In such a way eurythmy can also exert a corrective
influence upon everything that is musical.
We are actually living
(this is naturally still more shocking) in a terribly inartistic age
where music is concerned, too. This cannot be denied — we are living
in a terribly inartistic age. For today there is an exceedingly widespread
tendency to drive music as such into mere noise.  We have gradually
ceased to be musical in the real sense, and instead we now make use
of music in order to portray all sorts of sounds which are meant to
represent something or other; the listener cannot always be sure what
actually is intended, but at any rate it is a question of portraying
something or other. Now please do not regard me as one of those Philistines
who are only out to denegrate all that is being produced today in the
sphere of music — doubtless with the most honest intentions! But it
is necessary, when dealing with an art such as eurythmy, to raise it
upon the foundations of what is really artistic, and to be able to speak
about such things radically, too. It is impossible to do otherwise.
Thus it is easy to see how eurythmy can work correctively upon musical
You must forgive me if
I now introduce something in the nature of an exercise; I have to do
so in order to show how something can be built out of the fundamentals
of art. Try first of all to become inwardly completely quiet, indifferent
to sense impressions, as well as to any inward passions. Having achieved
this state of indifference, sit down at the piano and play one of the
middle notes (any note will do) and try while going up the scale to
the octave really to experience the progression of notes. 
Having experienced this
in peace and quiet, stand up and try to realize in eurythmy gestures
what you have experienced. You will arrive at much, both in regard to
what I have already mentioned and to those things about which I have
still to speak. Endeavour, when attempting to reproduce in gesture what
you have just played (single notes in an ascending progression) to bring
into the eurythmy gestures (into the gestures for the triad, for instance)
something similar to the gestures we have been discussing during these
last few days. You will find it comparatively easy to feel a very strong
connection between what you produce, feel and experience as gesture,
and the notes as you play them successively on the piano.
Try striking a chord and
try to reproduce in eurythmy the harmony of the notes. You will now
discover that something within you does not want to go along with this.
When striking a chord you are faced with the problem of having to carry
out the step and movements of both arms simultaneously, as I indicated,
let's say, for the movements for the major triad. You are impelled to
do this, but it will certainly arouse in you a feeling of inner opposition.
A certain tendency will become apparent in your soul to transform the
chordal, harmonic element into the melodic element, to transform the
notes sounding simultaneously into a progression. And you will only
feel really satisfied when, as it were, you release the chord, when
you actually lead it over into Melos, making three movements for the
three notes, one after the other.
It may be plainly stated
as a law that eurythmy actually compels us to release continually the
harmonic element into Melos. This is the corrective element about which
I now want to speak. When you feel this in the right way you will come
to the conclusion that, drastic as it sounds, the chord is really a
burial. The chord may be likened to a burial. The three notes which
are played together, and which are thus dependent upon space and not
upon time — these notes have died in the chord. They only live when
they appear as melody. When you really feel this you will discover the
actual musical element is only to be found in the melodic element, the
effect of the notes living in time.
You will then realize
how senseless it is to ask: ‘What do the notes express?’ Today people
have gone so far in this direction that they try to make music represent
the rippling of water, the sighing of the wind, the rustling of leaves,
and all sorts of things. This, of course, is really apalling. Naturally,
it is not my intention to campaign against this kind of thing, nor to
detract from the pleasure anyone may take in it; I am only concerned
that we correctly understand the matter out of the fundamentals. The
notes, or progressions of notes, speak for themselves. They are indeed
only there to speak for themselves, to express what the third says to
the fifth, what the third says to the prime, or what the three of them
say together when played in succession. Otherwise we find ourselves
in the position of the distinguished European musician who once played
a most complicated piece of many voices to an Arab. The Arab got into
a terrible state of agitation, and said: ‘But why go so quickly? I should
like to hear each song in its turn.’ He wanted each voice to be played
separately, for he could not take in that the piece represents something
quite other than a basically unmusical, noisy conglomeration of quite
different things. [ 16]
I want to make clear to
you the fact that in the musical element a real world is present, wherein
we rediscover the impulses of the rest of the world.
Let us consider one fact.
We die. The physical body remains, but it disintegrates. Why does it
disintegrate? Why does it dissolve? The process of dissolution begins
after death; up to that point the body does not disintegrate but remains
intact. Why? Because previously we bore time within ourselves. From
the moment when death occurs, the corpse lives only in space; it cannot
participate in time. Because it can no longer participate in time, because
it exists only in space and is subject to the laws of space, this fact
makes it dead, this makes it fade away. We become a corpse because of
the impossibility of bearing time within ourselves; we live, during
earthly existence, because we are able to carry time within ourselves,
to allow time to work within ourselves, because time is active in the
material which extends in space. Melody is manifest in time. The chord
is the corpse of melody. Melody dies in the chord.
As far as the understanding
of music is concerned, our present age is in a sorry state. All these
discussions about tone-colour in the overtones, and so on, are really
only an attempt to make the single note into a kind of chord. People
today have an innate tendency to find the harmonic element even in a
single note. In reply to various questions as to how music ought to
be developed, I have frequently answered that we must become aware of
the melody in the single note; [ 17] in the single note we must become
aware of the melody, not of the chord, but of the melody. One note conceals
within itself a number of notes — every note at all events contains
three. With the one note that you actually hear as sound, which is produced
by an instrument and is actually audible, we have the present. Then
there is another note within it, which is as if we recalled this second
note. And there is a third note within it, which is as if we expected
this third note. Every note really calls forth recollection and expectation
as adjacent, melodic notes. This will come to be presented one day.
 People will surely discover the possibility to deepen music by
the single note becoming deepened into melody. Today people look for
the chord in a single note and think about how this chord exists in
the overtones. This, however, actually points to their materialistic
conception of music.
Now the following question
is unusual, but from the point of view of eurythmy it is fully justified:
Where does the musical element really lie? Today there would be no doubt
that the musical element lies in the notes, because such a terrific
effort is required in the schools to put down these notes correctly,
to arrange them in the right way. As you know, it all depends on mastering
the notes. But the notes are not the music! Just as the human body is
not the soul, so the notes are not the music. The interesting thing
is that the music lies between the notes. We only need the notes in
order that something may lie between them. The notes are necessary,
of course, but the music lies between them. It is not the C nor the
E which is essential, but what lies between the two. Such an element
lying in-between, however, is only possible in the melodic element.
In the chord it would be quite senseless. In harmony, such a lying in-
between would be quite senseless. The transition from Melos
to the harmonic element is really a stepwise transition from the musical
to the unmusical realm. For through this the music is buried, through
this the music is killed.
I could give you a somewhat
peculiar definition of music. Naturally I should not want to give it
in a music school, but I have to give it to eurythmists, for anyone
really wishing to promote tone eurythmy has to understand these things.
It is a negative definition, certainly, but nevertheless correct: What
is the musical element? It is what you do not hear!  That which
you hear is never musical. If you take the experience which exists in
time, which lies between two notes of a melody, then you hear nothing,
for it is only the notes themselves which are audible. What you inaudibly
experience between the notes, that is music in reality, for that is
the spiritual element of the matter, whereas the other is the sensory
manifestation of it.
You see, this enables
you in the most eminent sense to bring the human personality, the human
personality as soul, into the musical element.  The more you are
able to bring out that which cannot be heard, the more you use the audible
as the vehicle for the inaudible, so much the more is the music permeated
with the soul. To feel this in the musical element is precisely the
task of the eurythmist. And this is why, in the gestures of eurythmy,
in the manner we saw earlier (or as we have otherwise already seen them,
or shall be showing them) with these gestures he or she should feel
delight not in the position, but in the bringing about of the positions,
that is, in the movement. In the whole extent of eurythmy, the essential
thing is not in the making of poses, but in the movement.
You may never say (I have
frequently emphasized this, but frequently see the opposite conception
in practice), you may never say: This is an ee (stretched arm). For
now it is an ee no longer. It is only an ee as long as it is being formed,
as long as the arm is in movement; so long is it ee. Nothing in eurythmy
ever retains its meaning once it has come into being. In eurythmy, the
significance lies in the process of coming into being.
Consequently, the eurythmist
has to pay great attention to the forming of the movement, directing
the greatest care to that movement through which a form arises. And
consideration must be taken, as soon as one form arises, to transform
it as quickly as possible, to lead it over into the subsequent form.
The eurythmist regards movement as his element, neither standing in,
nor holding on to, the form.
Anyone sensitive to these
things in eurythmy will especially feel the sort of things which we
have already done, in the following way. Some piece of music has just
finished; the piece is over and you stand in the last position until
the curtain falls. (I have asked for this to be done in performances,
but it must be felt too.) It is quite finished. The final position,
the final figure has come to rest, and the curtain is drawn. What feeling
should live here; what should we feel? That the eurythmist seizes up!
We actually arrive at the annulling of the artistic, eurythmic activity.
It is finished. We say, as it were, to the audience:  ‘Friends,
we have now killed the performance so that you may come to yourselves
and think about it a little.’ Standing still may certainly have this
significance. That is why it is justified in relationship to the audience,
but only in this relationship.
All this serves to show
you how much it matters in every possible form to make a study of the
human being in movement. There are three observations we can make about
the human being. We know the human being exists in space, but that which
is spatial in him does not belong to eurythmy. But what can manifest
in space as movement; that is what belongs to eurythmy. And it is clear
that the human being lives in space in a threefold manner.
First he lives in space
in the direction from above downwards, and from below upwards. We know
that above we have the head and below the feet, and that they differ
from one other. Whoever makes a deeper study of the human being will
discover this as being of equal importance, let us say, to what is described
more externally in anatomy, namely the fact that in the foot there are
the bones of the heel, the toes and the instep, and so on, and in the
head the frontal bone, the parietal bone and the occipital bone, and
so on. Then, moving further inwards, the brain is described; the muscles
of the foot are described. These things are described as if somebody
or other had chanced to put them all together, and thus the human form
came into being by accident. In reality, the head is the octave of the
foot. And there is just as much truth in this (in the fact that the
head is the octave of the foot) as there is in the other facts contained
in the books on anatomy. For if you take the activity of the feet as
your starting-point, and take what the head has done for it (for the
head has something to do with the fact that you are able to walk with
your feet), and if you really grasp the activity of the head and the
activity of the feet, then, in the relationship between the two, you
have quite literally the feeling of octave and prime. It is nothing
other than this. We may go through the whole human being in this way,
for the human being is a musical scale. 
We have thus the human
being extended from above downwards, and from below upwards. But we
have also the human being extended in the directions right-left and
front-back, back-front. The other directions of space may be related
to these three directions, which are so clearly to be distinguished
in the human being. 
When the human being
carries musical experience over into eurythmy, he carries it into movement.
And he has no choice in his movements but to enter, in some way or other,
into these three different directions. He has to find some way of making
use of these three directions if the musical element is to be carried
into movement, for they represent him and [all] his possibilities of
movement. In eurythmy [all] the human possibilities of movement should
When you take the directions
of up-down and down-up (you will have gathered this from the still relatively
primitive tone eurythmy we have had hitherto), when you take the directions
up-down and down-up (also taking into account what I have said about
the major and the minor triads, and so on, and in connection with the
foot and the head), then you will be able to feel: The height of the
human being, the up-down and the down-up, corresponds to pitch. We have
no other means of expressing pitch than the upwards and downwards movement
of the arms, of the hands, and indeed, if you like, the upwards and
downwards movement of the legs or head. When making pitch visible, we
move in the vertical direction (see Fig. 3).
Now let us take right-left.
This direction immediately carries us over into the gesture of movement.
Where is it that the direction right-left makes itself especially apparent?
The right-left is especially apparent when someone walks. Walking really
is the bringing-into-movement of the right-left: right leg, left leg,
right leg, left leg. And the direction right-left will remain lifeless
just so long as you walk in life in a philistine manner; there will
be no life in the right-left. But life is immediately introduced when
we make some differentiation between the right-left, as nature does
in that people usually write with the right hand and not with the left.
A differentiation may also be shown simply by taking a strong step with
the right leg, the left leg being drawn back, before placing it again.
Everything that comes about in this way through the differentiation
between right and left is connected with beat (see Fig. 3). Beat in
music is carried over into eurythmic movement by means of the right-left.
There still remains the
front-back. The point here is that the front- back is inwardly taken
hold of, and in order to do so we must look at the human being a little
Now, you know, the front-back
is not merely, let's say, as if some signpost is written with ‘front’
on the one side and ‘back’ on the other. The essential element of the
front-back is that we see in front of us, but do not see behind us.
Behind us is a world of darkness, in fact, of which we have scarcely
an inkling, whereas in front of us lies the whole visible world opening
out. And in our movement, we can turn the ‘front’ to the whole visible
world, and then we are dealing with that which is in front. And when
we turn to this ‘front’, it means that we make the movement short. We
are right in the midst of the world. We make the movement short.
When we are not able to
enter this world, when we are held back, stuck, as it were, to the darkness
lying behind us and unable to get out of it, we make the movement long.
And so we may simply differentiate the relationship between front and
back by means of ‘short-long’. We have then u — or — u,
iambus and trochee (see rhythm in Fig. 3). That
means, we have rhythm; front-back confers the rhythm.
Now we possess three of
the musical elements, and these may be used in your musical forms. If
I may thus express it: you step the beat, you express the rhythm by
means of quick-slow, and you express the actual musical element, Melos,
leading the movements up or down accordingly. The entire human being
is engaged in eurythmy by means of beat, rhythm and Melos.
music is the human being. And indeed it is from music that we may rightly
learn how to free ourselves from matter. For if music were to become
materialistic, it would actually be lying: it is not ‘there’ Every other
form of matter is present in the world and is insistent. But musical
sounds originally were not to be found in the material world.  We
have to devise a means of producing them; they must first be made. The
soul element, which lies between the notes, this lives in the human
being. But today, because the world has become so unmusical, people
are scarcely aware of it.
This will once again be
taken into account when people realize that the note corresponds to
the calm posture of the eurythmist. Let us now look at the major triad.
(This was demonstrated.) Now you are no longer engaged in eurythmy,
for eurythmy lies in the process of arriving at this position. The major
triad lies in the going forwards, in the tending-towards, the coming-into-being,
not in the accomplished fact. But the note as such corresponds to the
completed posture. That means, the very moment a note is completed,
the musical element ceases.
In this connection the
following is of special interest: We have to be able to feel a relationship
between the musical element and speech. If you endeavour in your listening
to draw out the scale from the main vowels, most interesting things
C may be said to correspond to u (‘oo’
D to o (‘o’)
E to a (‘ah’ )
F to ö (‘ir’) (English equivalent
as in: birth)
G to e (‘a’)
A to ü (‘eu’) (English equivalent
as in: feud)
B to i (‘ee’)
This is the approximate
correspondence between the scale and the main vowels, purely according
to their sound. 
Now I would like you to
make an oo with the legs. That is the keynote, as you all know. And
now try to make the movement of a major or minor triad in the way we
have already discussed, marking the third with its completing fifth.
If you relate the movements and push them somewhat across, the fifth
will be expressed in the movement of the a; it will become an a of its
After this try to make
an ah; and now try most strongly to make a third, not with one hand
as we otherwise do, but do the movement for the third with both arms,
after imagining the keynote. Then you will find yourself in the eurythmy
movement for the sound ah, with the third.
You see something very
striking from this. If we listen very attentively it is almost possible
to hear approximately this correspondence between the main vowels and
the scale; if the sounds are articulated properly they do approximate
to the scale. The movements of eurythmy bring this about of themselves.
These movements rendering the formations of the musical sounds, also
indicate those of the formations for the sounds of speech. This means
that we cannot do otherwise in eurythmy than, when doing the right movements,
to introduce the right conditions between the musical sounds and the
sounds of speech, too.
We have never considered
this other aspect of the movements that we have been studying all these
years from the point of view of the sounds of speech and their formation;
now we must try to realize them in their relationship to the form of
the musical sounds. We have to become clear about the approximate correspondence
between the scale and the formation of the sounds of speech. And when
we compare the formation of the musical sounds with those for the sounds
of speech, we find that their resemblance corresponds to the same degree
as that between the musical sounds and the speech sounds as such. Of
course, it's not the same; there is simply a resemblance. Neither in
eurythmy are the two identical.
You see from this how
naturally what we call eurythmy arises out of the very essence of speech
on the one hand, and of the musical element on the other. That is quite
plainly to be seen. And when you have entered into these things, you
will be able to feel in no other way than: A musical sound or sound
of speech can have only one gesture; it cannot be expressed in a variety
Let us continue tomorrow.