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Music made by walking

3 Mar, 2024

March 4th is Music Marching Day. Let us take the opportunity to celebrate music made by walking.
Becoming widely popular in the 19th century, marching music has a military origin, but the musical genre of a march exists already since the 16th century and was picked up by many great composers as Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky and Leonard Bernstein to name some.
Along with musical marches and parades to celebrate important occasions, there is also a century old tradition of walking choirs, specifically in the Balkans.
Today may also be the right moment to highlight the FaceBook group “Songs about Walking”, initiated by walking artist Stefaan van Biesen, containing a playlist of hundreds of songs about walking.
Walking is as well an inspiration for many choreographers and dancers, as for example Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Rosas with their project My Walking is My dancing.
Walking arts in the 1960s originated almost simultaneously in performance art, dance and visual arts. Choreographers such as Trisha Brown, Steve Paxton and Yvonne Rainer were pioneers in bringing walking into dancing. Also various plays of Samuel Beckett lean strongly on walking and music, as Quad, a walking ballet for 4 people.
In 1979 Sony revolutionized daily music experience by bringing the Walkman on the market, allowing listening to music cassettes while on foot. Mobile phones and gps brought listening while walking to another level, making it posible to trigger sounds by approaching places with audio walks, picked up by many artists to create interactive sound walks with music.
For example Mathis Nitschkes “The Planets – an inter-galactic soundwalk in 3D audio”, a walk inside the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra playing Gustav Holst's masterpiece, while strolling in any park of the world with your mobile phone. Or Matt Steinmann’s “The Royal Parks - Music for Trees”, a walking experience linking the trees in Regent's Park with specially composed music, for mobile phones and made with Echoes, sponsor of today’s newsletter.

Put on that music, and celebrate walking!

co-founder of walk · listen · create

Sponsor: Echoes
ECHOES specialises in geolocative audio. Our free platform allows creators to make and publish incredible GPS-triggered walking experiences. We also create apps which focus on sound and location, like The Royal Parks and The Royal Academy’s collaborative ‘Music for Trees’ app.

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