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“Symphony in the world” Body, gestures, voice, music

Croatian Physicians Music Society
Croatian Medical Association
Contact number: +385 91 73 83 023
E-mail: darkob@kbsm.hr

6th Croatian Symposium with International Participation «Medicien and Music»
University Hospital Dubrava Zagreb, Av. G. Šuška 6

In all our gestures, moment after moment, there is a rhythm, a time, a music.
When did our gestures originate? Movement is the very origin of the life.

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The “Maternal Womb” is the First Orchestra

Life is movement / movement is life.
Everything moves, takes place in a first and in a next: first and next mark the passage of the time.
Everything happens in the time, in the space, in the spacial – temporal dimension. Everything is rhythm.
The anthropologist Steven Mithen, in his book “The song of the ancestors”, writes that an internal drum makes us walking. This “pum-pum” is the rhythmical order of mother’s heartbeat and breath lived inside the first orchestra, it’s the foundation of the memory, of the original order.
With the birth we have experience of the entry of the air in our body.

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The heart beat proceeds with order of rhythm and accent
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Egypt, Karnak’s Temple: birth, event.

The newborn’s cry originates from the first meeting with the air, with the external world.

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Respiration, circulation, internal organs: everything is connected in one system.
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The body breaths, feels, relates…

The breathed air , outward pushed, passing by the larynx and resonating in the body, is transformed in sound, voice. The flexibility of the voice is still an unexplained event. The voice is formed by the waves. The air is what the voice is made of. The sound waves create the listening by passing across all they meet (resonance) . Every listening comes through the resonance. The body is involved in reception and production of waves, through the resonance. Do the first cry concern only the physiology, how does the traditional medicine support this?
Do the first cry concern only the physiology, how does the traditional medicine support this?
The first cry is the affirmation of the life, of the entry in the world, how does the humanistic vision support this?

The body is the protagonist of the listening and of the production of the voice. Every sound or noise produced by the voice, depends on the breath. The corporeity is completely involved for the breathing.

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The diaphragm, fundamental muscle for the breathing, is not externally visible because it’s disposed in the internal median position of the body. The diaphragm is connected with the whole muscular system. Its tension is modified by the emotions.

The emotions, any kind of emotion, create modifications in the whole corporeity, so they influence the breathing as well. The emotions derive by the relations with:
- External world;
- the others;
- ourselves.

In every moments of the life we’re immersed in communicative networks. How do we relate? The emotions are the signals of our way to relate, to stay, to interact or undergo, to answer or to stand back. The emotions modify the intonation of the voice, the construction of the phrase, even the articulation of the words. Every moment is the becoming for the next moment.
Re – spire. In this word there is the term “Spirit”. The voice originates by the relation with the air, considered as spirit. Even the life of the earth depends by the air, by the atmosphera. The renewal of this relation is the retaking of the breath, man’s wind. As the wind makes the nature singing or trembling, so happens for our voice. Any our breathing tells about our relation with the world, with the other, with ourselves.
The sounds that we feel living inside the first orchestra, are rediscovered in the world in a new way, no longer by the liquid transmission, but by the aerial’s one.
The human being is born endowed with the capacity to imitate gestures, voices, sounds.
The neuroscience attribute this capacity to the mirror neurons. This capacity allows us to observe for reproducing, to make the sorrounding reality own. The arts reach the top of these capacities. Music is constructed on the principle of imitation. The verbal language is founded on the principle of imitation. Every our gesture passed through imitative ways.
Human body is made to measure for imitating sounds, voices, verses of the natural world and recreating them to comunicate. The vowels are our sounds. The consonants are the imitation of what the humans listened, recognized, remembered in the natural world. In the man’s gestures there are the sounds or noises or verses he produces. Gestures have inside the value of the signs. The voice is inside the human gesture.

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The explosion of the volcano recalls the creation of the voice coming out from the mouth.

The form of the letter “V” is inside the gesture of the arms indicating the creation of the voice (still present in the prayers, in the singers’ movements...).

Gestures, as the voice, reproduce the reality.

The signs of the writing are already in the reality.

We’re in front of an analysis and an imitative way concerning the Timbre of the sound. The alphabetic letters regard the timbre of the sound. With the vowels we represent the sounds of our voice.
With the consonants we represent the noises reproduced by the voice.

The no–verbal generates the verbal language. The verbal is inside the no-verbal language.
When we speak we don’t limitate to intone the timbres of the vowels and the articulation of the consonants; each vowel is intoned with modifications of rhythmical (succession in the time) and melodic (pitch of the sound) kind and accents (sound intensity).

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On the sheet, there are signs going from the bottom to the top or from the top to bottom. These signs represent the beginning of musical notation (cent. VIII A.D.). The signs marked on the sheet represent the director’s of Schola Cantorum hand movements. The hand movements in their turn follow the movements of “ascent and descent of the voice in the body” (Guido d’Arezzo cent. XI A.D.).
Can the voice move inside the corporeal resonant cavities if it’s not supported by the tension of the diaphragm, in its turn connected with the primary and secondary muscles of the respiration and coordination of the body?
The quality of the voice tells about the corporeity, the respiration, the relation with the world, with the others, with ourselves.
The no-verbal tells about the verbal language, its production, its progresses, its affirmation. The word originates from the singing.

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In this notation three neumatic scripts appear. The oldest ones in black and in red represent the movements of the voice and of the body in the free space. The notation in the four lines (tetragram) represents clearly the distance between the sounds (intervals).

The musical notes, as the alphabetic letters, far from being prearranged signs, as we use to believe since many secles, are signs that follow the emotions by which the gestures and the voice originate. The writing represents on the space of a sheet (both for words and music) the exact succession of the sounds. In case of music it’s the melody; in case of writing it represents consonants/vowels.

The representation of the succession implicates the rhythm.
Let’s clap our hands in this regular rhythmic succession:

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Let’s clap our hands in this regular rhythmic succession:

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Let’s compare:

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As Pitagora said: “Music is made by the relation of pitch and duration between the sounds”.

Every time we pronounce a word we make a synthesis including: timbres, pitches, durations, intensities. These are the musical aspects forming, constructing verbal language. In technical term, they are the metrics of the words. Each language distinguishes itself from the others for the characterizing vocal sounds , for the particular consonants, for its metrics. Changing the accent of a word we make it unrecognizable.

The body tells

Verbal language is inside ourselves since before our birth.
Whenever congenital (syndromes, virus, heredity, etc…), traumatic (cerebral hemmorhage, anoxia ….), environmental (any kind of deprivation) factors intervene to create complications, the natural order of the things is compromised. Music is, par excellence, the art that can stir up emotions and it’s at the origin of our very living. There aren’t contraindication to the dialogue with sounds, rhythms, movement.
Musical clinical improvisation at piano, through the corporeal resonance (to be in direct contact with the sound), gives the opportunity to rediscover the original memories known in the “first orchestra”. The resonance inside the maternal womb and in the everyday life, is the convibration with the world.
We can not shirk to this convibration.
Improvisating means to create the music hidden in a gesture, in a vocal intonation. Improvisating means to create music to mirror, help, accompany, lead a person to not feel alone, to go towards natural processes of change and transformation. The mirror neurons act in the musictherapist and in the person of whom he takes care. The dialogue is born.
Every person, through all himself, is a Living Score.
Verbal and no verbal are the weaving of the interpersonal relation in musictherapy.
Body, gestures, voice are the notes of the living score that the musictherapist can read. This is not interpretation. It’s reading. Reading is devoid of judgement. Reading respects other person’s gestures, his energetic tone, his emotions. Reading leads the person to feel listened. Listening is devoid of judgement.
At these conditions something new can happen, it’s the becoming that creates the comunication, that leads towards something where “me” and “you” become “us”.

Giulia Cremaschi Trovesi

Translator Caterina Ravenna