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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

Rudolf Steiner on the Tone Eurythmy Lecture Course

Report from the Nachrichtenblatt (News sheet) of 2.3.24


...Now in the Section for Speech and Music, of which Frau Marie Steiner is the director, it was felt intrinsically necessary to arrange a course on tone eurythmy ...

I shall briefly report here on the aims and intentions of it. In the art of eurythmy, speech eurythmy has been developed to a certain extent. We are our own most severe critics, and realize that whatever we manage to achieve in this realm is merely a beginning. But what has begun must be developed further.

Less progress has been made so far with tone eurythmy, ‘visible singing’, than with speech eurythmy, ‘visible word’. So that the beginning which we have achieved can be continued in the right way, the stage at which tone eurythmy is now practised had to be taken a step further. This was the purpose of the lecture course. Consequently the nature of the musical element had to be indicated, too. For in eurythmy, music is made visible, and we have to feel where music has its true source in the human being, if its fundamental essence is to be made visible.

Tone eurythmy makes visible that which is invisible, but lives audibly, in music. It is just here that we are in the gravest danger of becoming unmusical. I hope to have demonstrated in the lectures that when music flows over into movement, the urge arises to reject all that is unmusical in music and to make visible only ‘pure music’. Those who hold the view that music ceases when the audible is carried over into visible movement will certainly have reservations about tone eurythmy as such. This view, however, is not in the deepest sense an artistic one, for someone who inwardly experiences art must take delight in every extension of artistic sources and their forms. It is a fact that music, like all true art, springs forth from man's innermost being. His life can reveal this in the most varying ways. What wants to sing in the human being wants to be presented in forms of movement too, and only those possibilities of movement that lie in man's organism are called forth in speech and tone eurythmy. It is the human being himself who reveals his essence here. The human form is only truly understood as arrested movement, and only the movement of the human being reveals the meaning of his form. It may be said: Someone who disputes the justification of tone and speech eurythmy refuses to allow the human being to appear in his totality. Materialism does not permit the spirit to appear in human understanding, and the rejection of eurythmy as an art that can justifiably stand on a par with the other arts no doubt has its origin in a similar conviction.

It is to be hoped that the eurythmists have received some inspiration from this course, and thus some contribution has been made towards the further development of our art of eurythmy.

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