elements of dance vs. elements of music

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Maybe because I got into music first, I have a sense of how to conceptualize what’s going on with music.

Music is made of frequencies. Both rhythms and tones are frequencies. Rhythms are relatively low-frequency [countable by humans] compared to tones, which are so high frequency that we don’t perceive them as repetitions but instead as tones. We have instruments that organize tonal production to make it possible to play with frequencies. the play can happen because of consonance and dissonance, either rhythmic or tonal consonance and dissonance and/or both. Playing music means playing with moving between consonance and dissonance in various ways. Wandering (dissonance, divergence) and coming home (consonance, convergence).

I came to Dance later. When I came to dance, it felt like a homecoming (I should write about that elsewhere), but now I’m trying to figure out Dance more thoroughly (or something). I know it’s made of movements.

At first glance, I think movements don’t have such an abstract quality as frequencies, but maybe they do. One big abstraction in Western music is to divide frequencies into a scale of 12 tones. Is there an equivalent “scale” in dance?

I’ve just started studying Eshkol Wachman Movement Notation, and I think they have an answer to the question of scales. EWMN has units of movement, for the most part they divide planes of movement into 8 units, 45 degrees each. They experimented with using 30 degrees, but found that it’s not easy for dancers or audience to discern differences at that ‘resolution’ - that would be like microtonality in music.

But I think I’m getting ahead of myself for this first note. Maybe the real place to start is that Dance hasn’t been conceptualized rigorously compared to music. Dance is like a territory that has been wandered for millenia, but Dance hasn’t been mapped.