F.I.M. Federazione Italiana Musicoterapeuti

World - man - measure

Report: Sounds - Rhythm - Movement - Measure - Number

"...sound is generated by movement because it belongs to the category of things that realize in time succession [...] there is no succession without movement [...] the time is the measure of sound [...] the time is also the measure of the movement ..." Ars nova 13th century

Movement, Measure, Metre, Month are all words concerning numbers. What concerns numbers is commonly explained with words. Numbers themselves are called with different names, each number, according to the quantity that it represents, has its number (three, five, etc.). Grammar thought us that the names of the things and the adjectives can be either singular (one, a, an) or plural ( many, a lot). Arithmetic (from arrhythmia, break of the rhythmical order) answers to the question: zero, how many?
We are so addicted to use words and numbers that we consider them as two completely different worlds. This way we forget that we cannot number without using words. The difference will be in the use of the written signs. The word “three” in mathematics is not written with the letters of the alphabet, but only with a sign indicating three units: 3.
As it often happens with words, the terms Metre and Measure hide more than a value: Mensura, Month, Menstruum. The reference to Menstruum leads to Femina, Felix, Fecunda, Foetus (the concept of happiness is expressed with the value of fertility, of fecundity. The value of Unity is the value of Individuality. The “femina fecunda” has in itself the new unit.
The human being describes the world with the words and measures it using himself (feet, inches, steps, spans, elbows, etc.). The human being numbers and measures himself in relation with the others through himself (copulation, conception) in the vital value of reproduction. Reproducing takes the succession and the numbers ahead.
The game of the letter “M” comes back in the “Means” that men created to overcome the criteria of barter in trade. The concept of Means includes the value of “instrument”, that is what is between man and what man produces. It is also Middle. Musical instruments are Means to make Music. Money is in the Middle between the object sold and the exchange of the correspondent value in coins. Money is the Unit of Measurement that allows overcoming barter. “M” of Mountains (Mother’s Mammas) characterises the sense of Money. The shape of the letter M can be cut right in the Middle and for this it has in itself the sense of Middle.
In Humanistic Music therapy this epistemological basis are the foundations used to work with children having difficulties or who seem to have difficulties in learning arithmetic, mathematics and geometry. It is the music therapist’s task to seize the presence of the succession of gestures and/or movements. Popular games for children are rich in these ordered successions. The music therapist, getting his internal resources, helps the creation of a constructive path, making profit by experiences to make them become processes of knowledge.

We advise you to read the texts indicated in the bibliography as to extend your knowledge on the theoretical foundations of humanistic music therapy. The authors we recommend are: Alfred Kallir, Carlo Sini, Giulia Cremaschi Trovesi, Mauro Scardovelli

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Translations Chiara Meloni