Music and Language

If you ever mused about the relationship between music and language, this video should prove to be very interesting to you. Watch it. It takes less than 6 minutes.

Did you ever sit in a car together with three people, chatting lively in a language you do not know at all?
If yes, and you dared to listen, you may have observed the connection between music and language first hand. You probably heard their conversation as a remarkable piece of music, with different overlapping rhythms and several melodies. Even if you did not know the topic of the conversation at all, you may have realized some emotional reactions like happiness and anger.

If you think about it, this must be the way a small baby experiences Mom and Dad talking. The child will then slowly isolate patterns and connect these patterns to certain actions, people and objects.

These associations between sounds and actions, persons, objects etc. are the roots of words. Language is then something like a system of socially sanctioned associations between certain sounds, graphical symbols, people, objects and their relationships.

But not everything we experience can be expressed in words or pressed into commonly shared concepts. Music helps in those moments. If we keep music as a part of our life, we keep our brain open for imagination, creativity and innovation. If we lose the ability to listen to music, and to listen to the world as music, we impoverish our lives. On the other hand, if we retain the ability to listen to the sounds of the world as music, the connection between music and language will help our brains to open some subtle relationships between things, actions and people which we would most probable overlook overwise.

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