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date: 30 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Dance and music appear to belong together: Conventional definitions of dance often conceive it as a rhythmical activity in which a series of steps is performed to musical accompaniment. Indeed, dance and music share many similarities such as rhythm and may have co-evolved as a form of nonverbal communication between groups of people. Despite a rich history of composers and choreographers exploring the aesthetic relationship between dance and music, only a few scientific studies have systematically explored how the visual aesthetics of dance interact with the auditory aesthetics of sound and music. In this chapter we will focus on such interactions; we will explore the common evolutionary origins of dance and music and review existing research on how dance and music influence each other to produce an audio-visual aesthetics of sound and movement. The chapter will explore interactions in both directions: music influences dance perception by altering movement expressiveness, orienting visual attention, and by modulating memory. At the same time music perception strongly depends on groove and danceability and is shaped by the listener’s dance experience. The chapter closes with a review of methodological challenges to studying the audio-visual aesthetics of dance and music and suggestions for future research in this field.

Keywords: Dance, Music, Congruency, Movement, Sound, Groove, Rhythm

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