Friday, May 30, 2014

Mind the Gap!

Just heard a great story on NPR's Morning Edition about why certain songs make us want to dance.
The conclusion is that songs with moderate rhythmic complexity and syncopation, inspire us to "fill in" the rhythmic gaps. So we jiggle, tap, clap,!

The same is true in storytelling. A classic "involvement strategy" for storytellers is to develop a rhythmic under current that grows in complexity and leaves gaps for the listener to fill in, resulting in spontaneous participation. The linguistic strategy of ellipsis (...) likewise inspires the listener to fill in the gap.  You can hear this at play in the cumulative pattern story of The Little Ant:

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