Connections between Music and Dance
Dance is an art form that communicates ideas, emotions, spirituality and stories using a graceful, rhythmic and coordinated set of steps, turns, shakes and other movements. Music is another art form which involves sounds that are combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion. Music and dance are closely intertwined and this article explores the relationship and connections between music and dance.
The two art forms, music and dance, together seem to create an emotional quotient, always complementing each other. Researchers from Dartmouth found that dancing is an emotional reaction which the result of being subjected to music. Dancing will tend to happen when there is music, no matter the background of the individuals doing so. Dancing, therefore, is a natural outcome of music. Music moves us, literally. All human cultures dance to music and music’s effect on the human body is exemplified in many cases - from military marches and political rallies to social gatherings and romance.
The component that both music and dance have in common is rhythm, one of the core aspects of music, along with pitch. As it happens, there can be dance with rhythm alone, generally performed on percussion instruments, a common practice in some West African and Middle Eastern countries. Nevertheless, most dances are also based on melody. This, without a doubt, is quite natural. If you notice a baby happily bouncing up and down from hearing a song, he is, in essence, dancing to rhythm and melody.
Dance is best understood as the clarification or deepening of the feelings of movement inspired by the music. Music, on the other hand, can actually refine your dancing skills by enhancing your timing, coordination and rhythm. However, this does not explain the relationship between the two. After all, we do not dance to paintings or buildings. Studies show that music and dance share a parallel expression of emotion. The two art forms can express a mood together, with similar ways of creating the dynamics of feeling. Across cultures, there exists a three-way connection between music, motion and feelings, such that being “moved” by either feelings or music is not a concept that is present in numerous cultures.