Focal Impulse Theory

Musical Expression, Meter, and the Body

by John Paul Ito

Published by: Indiana University Press

416 pages, 6.12 x 9.25 in, 6 b&w illus., 157 music exx., 6 tables

  • Paperback
  • 9780253049957
  • Published: November 2020

$25.00

  • Hardcover
  • 9780253049933
  • Published: November 2020

$80.00

  • eBook
  • 9780253049940
  • Published: October 2020

$24.99

  • eBook
  • 9780253052476
  • Published: October 2020

$24.99

Music is surrounded by movement, from the blues guitarist tapping his foot to the violinist swaying with each bow stroke. To John Paul Ito, these actions are more than just a performance gimmick; rather, they are directly linked to the generation of sound and, importantly, the feeling that sound produces. By developing "focal impulse theory," Ito shows how the expressive shaping of sound informs meaning within each individual musical piece. Ito reveals that music not only begins in motion with the performer, but it also returns to motion, since the universal response to music is to move. As Focal Impulse Theory deftly illustrates, these movements are not merely physical reactions; they carry meaning and, in a very real sense, are meaning.