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Eurythmy as Visible Singing

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

Sketch of Rudolf Steiner lecturing at the East-West Conference in Vienna.

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Eurythmy as Visible Singing

On-line since: 30th November, 2014

by Dorothea Mier

The study of music is the study of the human being. The two are inseparable, and eurythmy is the art which brings this most clearly to expression. In these lectures, Rudolf Steiner guides us along a path toward an understanding of the human form as music come to rest — the movements of eurythmy bringing this music back to life.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Alan Stott for the enormous undertaking of translating these lectures. He has taken great care to keep as close as possible to the original. I feel the effort made here in translating to be of tremendous importance, because it is very difficult not to shift slightly, or to make concrete formulations of that which holds a true mystery, thus limiting the reader's access to the path of discovery inherent in the original formulation. Steiner's characterizations are often challenging, but spiritually vital. They are like gems that have a depth which is unending.

The translator has achieved a great deal, in my opinion, in keeping Rudolf Steiner's work intact as far as possible. He has tried to accommodate, using copious notes, the different terms used in the various cultures, and he gives many references for further study. I appreciate his logic in translating Ton-Eurythmie as ‘music eurythmy’, yet am deeply grateful that he has accepted the term ‘tone eurythmy’ used worldwide over the past decades.

It soon becomes apparent when studying these lectures, that there are many enigmas, and many baffling statements. As yet, there is much that is not completely understood, but over the years people may come to a greater depth of understanding that will unlock the secrets hidden within the various indications. When reading these lectures, I think it is very important to remember that they were lectures, spoken to an intimate group of invited eurythmists and musicians — unrevised by the lecturer. Regarding the Lecturer's Notes (which in themselves are so valuable), I feel we also need to be very careful to remember their context. These Notes, included in this edition, were Rudolf Steiner's personal notes in preparation for the lectures. I am filled with questions, for instance, in connection with Lecture 5, on Cadence. What prevented Steiner from bringing some of the aspects of his notes into the lecture? As you read, you will find your own questions which can stimulate lifelong research.

This is a real handbook for active eurythmists and musicians, a text for advanced study. It is not meant for the casual reader, because (as with any ‘time art’) eurythmy cannot be self-taught. I can only encourage the reader to work deeply into the questions that arise when living with these lectures, because it is through delving into the mysteries contained here that we will come further into the unfolding of tone eurythmy.


Spring Valley, Michaelmas 1994

Dorothea Mier

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