The Motosonus Method was created to give pianists and composers access to tools that would enable them to provide top quality ballet class music for ballet instructors. In the most general terms the Motosonus Method provides ballet class pianists a set of guidelines for playing and creating music with specific techniques which are intended to make the music more effective in its role in the teaching setting of the ballet studio.

One of the main ways this is accomplished is by tailoring the beat placement and beat size, the macro-phrasing and micro-phrasing, and the melodic and harmonic content of the music to create a fabric of harmonic and rhythmic dissonance and consonance that matches the tension and relaxation taking place in the dancers muscles.

Using Beat Placement

This is probably the most impactful aspect of the Motosonus Method, since the beat and pulse of music has such a great impact on dancing, not just in ballet, but in every form of dance from the most primitive to the most sophisticated.

The beat placement in the music can create a sense of pushing, of holding back, of being faster than it actually is, of being slower than it actually is, of stretching, and of constricting. It can give the music an expansive feel, or a tightly controlled feel. It can generate a sense of weight or a feeling of lightness. It can create a grounded security or a sense of flight on the very edge of control.

With a few fairly simple techniques, the ballet class pianist can learn to recognize where each of these effects are needed in the ballet class music and provide them, both in the way the music is performed for a recording and in a live setting.

Using Phrasing

When the pianist knows how to control the ballet class music phrasing, if becomes a very effective tool for raising the level of the student dancers, bringing the most out of their efforts.

The phrasing of the ballet class music is used in the Motosonus Method to give the dancers the correct sense of initiation and arrival, and to extract slightly longer stretches and muscle tension from them as needed. Phrasing can be used to provide everything from a solid and secure sense of structure to a sense of freedom and flight, whatever is appropriate for the specific exercise.

The phrasing is capable of providing subtle punctuation to the movements of the dancers, lending clarity and assurance. I like to refer to it as putting an exclamation mark where one is needed and doing the same with question marks and periods. Effectively punctuated ballet class music will increase the self-confidence and self-assurance of the student dancers as it both clarifies and lends credibility to the movements.

Using Harmonic and Melodic Content

The musical elements of melody and harmony are the most effective for creating tension and relaxation. Subtle and carefully controlled dissonance and consonance are amazingly effective in bringing the most from the ballet students.

The melodies can completely change the character of the music. Melodic material can lend the dancing everything from a clean sharpness and tight accuracy to a sweeping sense of grace and bold freedom. Since the ballet class exercises use all of the muscles, smallest to largest, and employ a broad spectrum of movements from the tiniest and most controlled to the grandest and most free, the melodies created by the ballet class pianist need to be tailored to match and enhance all of those motions.


If these three concepts, namely beat placement, phrasing and harmony and melody are tailored to fit precisely to the ballet exercises (as they are with the Motosonus Method) the effectiveness of any class can be greatly enhanced.

Source by Don Caron

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.