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Musical Illusions and Phantom WordsHow Music and Speech Unlock Mysteries of the Brain$
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Diana Deutsch

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190206833

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190206833.001.0001

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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

Speech and Music Intertwined

Speech and Music Intertwined

Clues to Their Origins

Chapter:
(p.170) 11 Speech and Music Intertwined
Source:
Musical Illusions and Phantom Words
Author(s):

Diana Deutsch

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190206833.003.0012

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

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