Jaques-Dalcroze, Emile

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Jaques-Dalcroze, Emile

Jaques-Dalcroze, Emile, Swiss music educator and composer, creator of “Eurhythmies” b. Vienna (of French parents), July 6, 1865; d. Geneva, July 1, 1950. In 1873 his parents moved to Geneva. Having completed his courses at the Univ. and at the Cons. there, he went to Vienna for further study under Fuchs and Bruckner. He then went to Paris, where he studied with Delibes and Fauré. He returned to Geneva as instructor of theory at the Cons. (1892). Since he laid special stress on rhythm, he insisted that all his pupils beat time with their hands, and this led him, step by step, to devise a series of movements affecting the entire body. Together with the French psychologist Edouard Claparide, he worked out a special terminology and reduced his practice to a regular system, which he called “Eurhythmies.” When his application to have his method introduced as a regular course at the Cons. was refused, he resigned, and in 1910 established his own school at Hellerau, near Dresden. As a result of World War I, the school was closed in 1914; he then returned to Geneva and founded the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze. Interest in his system led to the opening of similar schools in London, Berlin, Vienna, Paris, N.Y., Chicago, and other cities. Aside from his rhythmical innovations, he also commanded respect as a composer of marked originality and fecundity of invention. Many of his works show how thoroughly he was imbued with the spirit of Swiss folk music.

Writings

Le coeur chante: Impressions d’un musicien (Geneva, 1900); Vorschläge zur Reform des musikalischen Schulunterrichts (Zürich, 1905); La respiration et l’innervation musculaire (Paris, 1906); Méthode Jaques- Dalcroze (Paris, 1906-17); La rythmique (Lausanne, 1916-17); La portée musicale (Lausanne, n.d.); Introduction à l’étude de l’harmonie (Geneva, n.d.); Le rhythme, la musique et l’éducation (Paris, 1919; 2nd ed., 1965; Eng. tr., 1921; 2nd ed., 1967); C. Cox, ed., Eurhythmies, Art and Education (London, 1930); Rhythmics Movement (London, 1931); Métrique et rythmique (Paris, 1937-38); Souvenirs, notes et critiques (Neuchâ-tel, 1942); La musique et nous: Notes de notre double vie (Geneva, 1945); Notes bariolées (Geneva, 1948).

Works

dramatic:Operetta: Riquet à la houppe (1883). opéras comiques:Onkel Dazumal (Cologne, 1905; as Le Bonhomme Jadis, Paris, 1906); Les jumeaux de Bergame (Brussels, 1908). comédie lyrique:San-cho Pança (Geneva, 1897). OTHER: Numerous orch. works, including 2 violin concertos (1902, 1911); chamber music; piano pieces; choruses; songs.

Bibliography

P. Boepple, Der Rhythmus als Erziehungsmittle für das Leben und die Kunst: Sechs Vorträge von E. J.-D. zur Begründung seiner Methode der rhythmischen Gymnastik (Basel, 1907); W. Dohrn, Die Bildungsanstalt E. J.-D. (Dresden, 1912); M. Sadler, The Eurhythmies of J.-D. (London, 1912; 3rd ed., rev., 1920); K. Storck, E./.- D.: Seine Stellung und Aufgabe in unserer Zeit (Stuttgart, 1912); H. Brunet- Lecomte, J.-D., sa vie, son oeuvre (Geneva, 1950); F. Martin et al., E. J.-D.: L’Homme, le compositeur, le créateur de la rhythmique (Neuchâtel, 1965); M.-L. Bachmann, Le Rhythmique J.-D.: Une éducation par la musique et pour la musique (Neuchâtel, 1984; Eng. tr., 1991, as D. Today: An Education Through and Into Music); I. Spector, Rhythm and Life: The Work ofE. J.-D. (Stuyvesant, N.Y., 1990).

—Nicolas Slonimsky /Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Jaques-Dalcroze, Emile

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