Disanalogies Between Physical Space and Metaphoric Musical Space: Response to Jonathan Still’s Essay

Arnie Cox


Jonathan Still’s exploration of differences in how dancers and musicians experience and conceptualize beats, rhythm, and meter raises issues that scholars interested in these temporal components of music ought to consider, particularly with respect to the relationship between embodiment, physical gravity, and the notion of “musical gravity.” This response offers a brief explanation of how the musicians’ concept of downbeat is motivated by a different reasoning than that which motivates a sense of melodic “gravity.” It also extends another issue raised by Still concerning the range in the degree of congruence, across various kinds of dancing, between dancers’ steps and musical rhythm and meter.


conceptual metaphor; musical gravity; exertion schema

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/emr.v10i1-2.4600


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