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The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music$
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Isabelle Peretz and Robert J. Zatorre

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198525202

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198525202.001.0001

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Musical Predispositions in Infancy: an Update

Musical Predispositions in Infancy: an Update

(p.2) (p.3) Chapter 1 Musical Predispositions in Infancy: an Update
The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music

Sandra E. Trehub

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an update of musical predispositions in infancy. It starts by uncovering musical predispositions. It specifically discusses the relational processing of pitch and duration, interval processing, processing of scale structure, temporal processing, and hemispheric specialization in infants. There are parallels between maternal speech and singing to infants, but there are differences as well. In general, women's singing is higher pitched than their speech, but maternal speech to infants is higher pitched than maternal singing. In addition, it explains the responsiveness to maternal music and the biological significance of singing to infants. It is clear that infants do not begin life with a blank musical slate. Instead, they are predisposed to attend to the melodic contour and rhythmic patterning of sound sequences, whether music or speech. In general, infants begin life as musical beings, being responsive to the primitives or universals that are the foundation of music everywhere.

Keywords:   musical predispositions, infancy, infants, maternal speech, maternal singing, maternal music

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