chapter  1.3
10 Pages

Musical narratives

Communicative musicality
BySandra Smidt

This chapter describes how the baby and mother form a strong and binding bond where sounds, movement, rhythm, pitch and tone are used to start and continue a dialogue. There have been numerous experimental studies since the 1970s into just what it is that allows human infants to both perceive and respond to the communicative signals they get from mothers. The evidence shows that infants can discriminate things like the patterns of timing, the pitch of the voice, the volume of the utterance and the timbre of the voice. The speech of the mother to her baby has unconscious or intuitive forms that reveal the same characteristics in all languages. There is evidence that music was an essential part of life for early human beings before language evolved, and throughout most of the 'developed' and the 'developing' worlds music still plays a huge part in our lives.