The Mouritz Companion to the Alexander Technique is intended to provide a brief overview of a subject and to direct the reader to the most important sources available. It is not an introduction to the Alexander Technique.
The Companion is not an encyclopædia. Much more research and information is needed for substantive encyclopædic style treatments of subjects. The Companion should more accurately be titled ‘A companion to Alexander Technique literature’, but there are of course references to other media as well. The Companion is comparable to other publishers’ companions (e.g. ‘The Oxford Companion to English Literature’, ‘The Cambridge Companion to . . .’, ‘The Routledge Companion to . . .’ etc.)
As for weighing the importance of sources the rule generally followed is that 1) books take precedence over articles (on the assumption that books provide more information and more references than articles), 2) printed matter takes precedence over internet available information (on the assumption than printed material has a longer lifespan than websites), 3) where the subject is the Alexander Technique itself (not history of, science of), teachers of the Technique take precedence over non-teachers, and 4) substantial, original, seminal writings takes precedence over other writings. As the emphasis of the Companion is on the history and development of the Technique, the writings of F. M. Alexander, and teachers who trained with Alexander, takes precedence over later writings.
MSI Man’s Supreme Inheritance
CCC Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual
UoS The Use of the Self
UCL The Universal Constant in Living
A&L Articles and Lectures
OED Oxford English Dictionary
HoT Head of Training (of an Alexander Teacher Training course)
HOBC Hands on the back of the chair
‘Alexander’ refers to F. Matthias Alexander throughout unless otherwise specified. ‘The Technique’ (capitalized) is used as an abbreviation of the Alexander Technique. The technical language particular to the Alexander Technique is used throughout. In addition some consistency has been applied. Hence, ‘student’ refer to students training to be teachers of the Technique. ‘Head of Training’ (aka ‘director’) is the person leading and being responsible for a teachers training course.
Although I have used my own notes – both published and unpublished – for this, the entries here have been written for this Companion. I have drawn not only on published notes I have written, but unpublished articles as well as notes for lectures I gave on teacher training courses I have worked on, or visited, since 1991. Over the years I have also answered many questions by email on Alexander Technique literature and history, and I have used the notes for these as well.
For the purpose of conciseness some are shorter than my published notes, and all have been rewritten to be stand-alone pieces (unlike notes in published books which have a context). The Companion is based on an old database I used to keep track of all the information I had gathered about the Technique since 1989. It is a shortcoming that, when done by an individual, it is limited by the individual’s knowledge and understanding of the Technique. The advantage is a certain consistency in presentation. It is difficult to discuss issues of the Technique in an impartial manner when these are disputable and debatable. In addition, it is difficult to argue against anyone’s personal experience. I apologise in advance for any misrepresentation.
‘Posted’ date refers to the last revision of an entry.
This Companion is only 80% complete; for any errors or omissions please use the Contact page to get in touch.
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The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author. Mouritz and the author cannot be responsible for your use of the information contained in www.mouritz.org. Any links are provided for your information and convenience only and are not an endorsement.
With many thanks to the Walter Carrington Educational Trust archives and the STAT archives for additional information. I am grateful to Peter Luu for help with the database coding, and to Regina Stratil for help with proof reading. And thank you to all the teachers who have kindly provided feedback on this site.
Jean M. O. Fischer