Music in Motion
April 12, 2014 12:11 PM   Subscribe

What are examples of music that create the rhythmic sense of being in motion? Here is an example of what I mean.

I am not so much looking for "road trip" music (although there may be some overlap), but music that rhythmically evokes being in motion.
posted by ageispolis to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The train beat! Most famous example: Folsom Prison Blues.
posted by cincinnatus c at 12:18 PM on April 12, 2014

I find many songs by Dinosaur jr. do this for me, they swoop and dive. But that is more about the guitar.
posted by vrakatar at 12:53 PM on April 12, 2014

Uptempo — Leo Kottke
posted by John Cohen at 12:54 PM on April 12, 2014

The Walkmen - The Rat has always given me a strong sense of driving, rollicking motion but, yeah, it's definitely through both the rhythm guitar as well as the drums.
posted by carsonb at 12:54 PM on April 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This selection from Philip Glass's score for Naqoyqatsi has always evoked a sense of motion for me.
posted by BillMcMurdo at 1:05 PM on April 12, 2014

Best answer: Beethoven's 7th Symphony, which Wagner called "the apotheosis of the dance."
posted by alms at 1:22 PM on April 12, 2014

A lot of electronic music evokes that sort of sensation for me - not susprising given the often repetitive structures, and continuous motion basically requires repetitive, rhythmic activity.

Very different to the above examples, but Leftfield's Inspection (Check One) has always evoked a strong sensation of motion for me - but a very particular, dogged, relentless sort of motion.

Amon Tobin's Marine Machines is another one.

Back in the vein of your original suggestion, Jose Gonzalez' cover of The Knife's Heartbeats is lovely.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:36 PM on April 12, 2014

Kraftwerk - Autobahn
posted by ludwig_van at 1:49 PM on April 12, 2014

"Gallop metal"
posted by hydrophonic at 2:02 PM on April 12, 2014

Best answer: Ligeti's "L'escalier du diable" suggests an imposingly infinite upward descent.
posted by invitapriore at 2:05 PM on April 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

For some reason, the very first thing that popped into my head when I read this was Flight of the Cosmic Hippo by Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. It's definitely in motion- in slow motion.
posted by quincunx at 2:07 PM on April 12, 2014

Radar Love
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:39 PM on April 12, 2014

Best answer: Masoko Tanga by The Police.
posted by Meep! Eek! at 2:51 PM on April 12, 2014

Prime example, Trans Europe Express by Kraftwerk.
posted by theartandsound at 2:53 PM on April 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

This question made me think of The Mars Volta's album "Deloused in the Comatorium".

Check out Drunkship of Lanterns.
posted by alligatorman at 2:56 PM on April 12, 2014

Best answer: Motorik!
Neu's "Hallogallo" is the prime example. See also: Stereolab - Jenny Ondioline
Here's a youtube playlist.


The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner
posted by hydrophonic at 4:26 PM on April 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Jayhawks - I'd Run Away
posted by dawkins_7 at 6:30 PM on April 12, 2014

Kraftwerk's entire "Tour de France Soundtracks" album.
posted by davebush at 6:41 PM on April 12, 2014

Walking blues
Key to the highway
posted by Dr Dracator at 8:35 AM on April 13, 2014

Grofé, in the Grand Canyon Suite, has a piece "On the Trail" that explicitly tries to bring out the feel of descending the canyon on a mule.

"Grofe’s musical themes are a juxtaposition of the herky-jerky gait of the donkey and the sweeping progress of the entire train. Grofe even includes the mules hee-hawing."
posted by dhartung at 1:08 PM on April 13, 2014

Powerhouse by Raymond Scott (AKA the cartoon assembly line song)
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 4:08 PM on April 13, 2014

Iron & Wine's Woman King EP is full of horse gait rhythms.
posted by jocelmeow at 1:22 PM on April 14, 2014

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