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Nº. 2024 | 1

Language and music

Language and music are universal forms of human expression which shape both our identities and our communication. While music is often considered a vehicle for conveying emotions and moods, language is deemed both a key tool in acquiring and passing on knowledge and a way of sharing thoughts and experiences with others.

Language and music may be different phenomena but they have much in common. They are both complex systems organised hierarchically, whether by phoneme or tone. They use comparable forms of notation to record information for the present and to capture it for perpetuity. The function and sequencing of musical and linguistic units follow clear rules. Stress, intonation, speed and rhythm are features of both spoken language and musical events. On the level of articulation, acoustics and perception, prosody – patterns of stress and intonation – can be considered the clearest link between these two phenomena. More

The association Leseforum Schweiz would like to thank the Federal Office of Culture FOC for its support.

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