When performing eurythmy to music (also called tone eurythmy), the three major elements of music, melody, harmony and rhythm, are all expressed.
The melody is conveyed through expressing its rise and fall and using the arm gestures of the actual tones.
Harmony is expressed through movements of dissonance and consonance, and the mood qualities of major and minor.
Rhythm is chiefly conveyed through livelier and more contoured movements for quick notes, slower, dreamier movements for longer notes; in addition, longer tones move into the back space, quicker tones into the front space.
Breaths or pauses are expressed through a larger or smaller movement in space, giving new impulse to what follows. Beat is conveyed through greater emphasis of downbeats, or those beats upon which stress is normally placed.
The choreography of a piece usually expresses elements such as the major or minor key, the shape of the melody line, the interplay between
voices or instruments and the relative dominance of one or another voice or instrument.
Eurythmy as visible Speech
Eurythmy is often performed to spoken texts such as poetry, stories or plays. Speech eurythmy includes such elements as the sounds of speech, rhythms, poetic meters, grammar and mood. In speech eurythmy, all the sounds of language have characteristic gestural qualities. It is the audible or phonetic sounds themselves, not the letters of the written language, that are expressed in speech eurythmy.
Eurythmy aims to bring the artists' expressive movement and both the performers' and audience's feeling experience into harmony with the content of the composition, be it musical or poetic. Eurythmy is sometimes called "visible music" or "visible speech",
expressions that originate with its founder, Rudolf Steiner, who described eurythmy as an "art
of the soul". Eurythmy is performed to classical music, texts, poetry or stories.
The arm gestures of eurythmy relate to the sounds of speech, to the tones and rhythms of music and to soul experiences, such as joy or sadness.