reflection on music and speech

In the textbook Contemporary Linguistics An Introduction, fourth edition, it says: “Humans… appear to have specialized neural mechanism for the perception of speech sounds”.  As opposed to other creatures, we as human-beings have a natural inclination to, and also biological components of, speech.  We also have a liking to music.  Although birds and whales may have speech and perhaps melodic pitches, human beings are unique in their savoring of music.  I share the  idea that a guitarist friend shared with me in East Los Angeles College, the idea that the more a musical instrument sounds like human speech the more people will like the sound that is produced by it.  Keeping in mind that the human brain is specialized for speech, and that musical instruments mimic the different sounds that can be produced by a human being, people then have the biological, and some may argue, the spiritual inclination to the appreciation of music.

Is it the one who beep-boxes the one imitating the musical instruments, or is the musical instrument imitating the human?  Which came first?  The chicken or the egg?  Both are closely related, which is why the high-pitch, screechy, and melodic singing of Axl Rose blends with the solo of Slash’s electric guitar,  because they are almost, to use a cliche, one and the same.  Drums imitate the flow of air in the mouth, the base guitar imitates the deep resounding voice from the throat, and the flute imitates the human capability to whistle.

Published by

Carlos

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/carlosjimenezwritings?ref=hl

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *