Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Musical Illusions and Phantom WordsHow Music and Speech Unlock Mysteries of the Brain$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Diana Deutsch

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190206833

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190206833.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 May 2021

The Speech-to-Song Illusion

The Speech-to-Song Illusion

Crossing the Borderline Between Speech and Song

Chapter:
(p.151) 10 The Speech-to-Song Illusion
Source:
Musical Illusions and Phantom Words
Author(s):

Diana Deutsch

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190206833.003.0011

Chapter 10 begins with the author’s discovery that a phrase she had enunciated—“Sometimes behave so strangely”when presented repeatedly, came to be heard as sung rather than spoken. This illusion is presented as a sound example. It shows that speech can be perceptually transformed into song without altering the sounds in any way, or by adding any musical context, but simply by repeating a phrase several times over. The speech-to-song illusion, as Deutsch named it, has no obvious explanation in terms of current scientific thinking about the neural underpinnings of speech and music. Many researchers believe that speech and music are each analyzed in independent modules, based on their physical characteristics. This view was supported by studies of stroke patients, some of whom lost their power of speech while their musical abilities remained intact, whereas others lost aspects of musical ability while their speech remained normal. In contrast, philosophers and composers throughout the ages have argued that a continuum extends from ordinary speech at one end to song at the other, with emotional and heavily intoned speech in between. Some recent brain-scanning studies have supported the idea that speech and song are subserved by the same circuitry, while others have shown that song involves more brain regions than speech. Evidence for these different views are currently being debated, but the exact explanation for the speech-to-song illusion remains a mystery.

Keywords:   music, speech, speech-to-song illusion, perceptual transformation, neural circuits, brain module, brain damage, brain scanning, philosophers, composers

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .