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: 08 December 2021

Speech and Music Intertwined

Speech and Music Intertwined

Clues to Their Origins

(p.170) 11 Speech and Music Intertwined
Musical Illusions and Phantom Words

Diana Deutsch

Oxford University Press

Chapter 11 explores relationships between speech and music. The history of thought about these relationships is reviewed. The importance of prosody in speech—musical qualities such as variations in pitch, tempo, timing, loudness, and sound quality—is discussed. There follow reviews of the emotional response of infants to the musical qualities of their mothers’ speech, and how such qualities help children acquire language. Further studies are discussed indicating that musical training aids children in processing the prosodic qualities of speech. Other studies show an influence of language on music perception. The tritone paradox, discussed in Chapter 5, shows that how people hear a pattern of tones can vary with the language or dialect to which they were exposed in childhood. Also, as discussed in Chapter 6, speakers of tone language, such as Mandarin, Cantonese, and Vietnamese, have a far higher prevalence of absolute pitch in music than do speakers of non-tone languages such as English. Other work has shown an influence of language on the perception of timing in music perception, and on musical composition. Yet music and language generally differ in their physical characteristics and functions. Whereas speech serves primarily to inform the listener about the world, music modulates feelings and emotions. Last, the question of how music and speech evolved is discussed, and it is argued that they may both have their origins in a vocal generative system called musical protolanguage.

Keywords:   Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, prosody, emotional response, language acquisition, tone language, timing in music, evolution, musical protolanguage

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 .