Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Music between UsIs Music a Universal Language?$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kathleen Marie Higgins

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226333281

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226333274.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 24 September 2018

The Music of Language

The Music of Language

Chapter:
(p.78) Chapter 5 The Music of Language
Source:
The Music between Us
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226333274.003.0005

Music and language have many similarities, but they are also different, in ways that neuropsychology increasingly shows. For instance, patients with aphasia (an inability to speak) do not necessarily develop amusia (the loss of certain musical abilities) due to brain lesions, nor do those with amusia necessarily develop aphasia. This chapter focuses on the language model that has traditionally been used to summarize the universal character of music. It argues that the linguistic model obscures powers of music that are different from those of language, as well as the ways in which language relies more on “musical” characteristics than is widely assumed. The chapter also reverses the model of the language–music comparison, suggesting, along with composer and musical semiotician David Lidov, that language might justly be called a music. Finally, it looks at a number of “universal” features of musical perception that are also applicable to language, including the involvement of categorical perception in our apprehension of phonemes and temporal intervals, the typically uneven durations of syllables, and the use of Gestalt principles in grouping linguistic strings.

Keywords:   music, language, David Lidov, musical perception, phonemes, temporal intervals, syllables, Gestalt principles, linguistic strings

Chicago 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.