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Discovering Further Links between Language and Music

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Arguably, language is the one thing that sets humans apart from animals. The capacity to share thoughts and ideas through the spoken word allows humans to function as a group, enabling humanity to function as an entity greater than the sum of its separate individuals. Music shares similar properties, as it is also transmitted and perceived through sound. Both have the potential to connect people and are innate properties of the human being. The aim of this paper is to discover further links between the two based on empirical evidence. The main sources that will be consulted are articles produced by Dr. Aniruddh Patel, a pioneer in the field of music psychology, with works ranging from music cognition to rhythm perception.
The first study conducted by Patel & Daniele (2003) focuses on one of the two main points of interests held by musicologists and linguistics alike: the effect of prosody of a particular language on the music produced by native speakers of that language. In the introduction, the authors reflects on the long held intuition that there is a connection between the two, however, dismisses its validity based on the fact that there has not been any empirical evidence to substantiate the claim.
Three challenges are raised that explain the reason behind why this has been the case. In order to establish empirical value, firstly, there must be a certain “measure” with which prosodic structure can be quantified over multiple languages. Secondly, this method of measurement must be one which can also be applied to music, since the goal of the study is to establish a link between the two. Finally, a broad sample of speech and music must be consulted in order to establish empirical evidence that can be applied universally acros...

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...essfully consolidates the two major theories regarding syntactic processing in the realms of music and language, and explains the paradoxical phenomenon of aphasia and amusia patients. In addition, the SSIRH theory shines a light into potential future research that can be conducted to discover empirically supported truth regarding the relationship between music and language. This is especially the case with recent developments in brain imaging techniques.
In conclusion, the two studies show that language and music are certainly related, and that this relationship is one which can be evidenced through empiricism. The first article demonstrates an instance where language can affect music through prosody ingrained in speakers of a particular language. The second article takes a step deeper to reconcile how exactly the two are related in a neuropsychological framework.
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