Book Review: Music, Language, and the Brain (Basic Terminology)

Throughout my discussion of Patel’s Music, Language, and the Brain, I will be defining terms, talking about studies referred to by Patel, and discussing future avenues of music. Given that Patel wrote his book in 2008, I also want to look to see if any researchers have pursued some of the future research implications.

First, though, let’s start with the very basics of music and language. In future chapters, Patel does cover the overlap and correlations between music and language; however, he opens his book with one basic fact:

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Obviously, we can’t have a discussion without recognizing these are two distinct elements of human nature, and while I won’t further define speech or “linguistic” or music, as I believe they should be self-explanatory, I do feel it’s necessary to have a good understanding of vowels, consonants, pitch contrasts, timbres, and pitches.



Pitch Contrasts


Pitches: So we talked about pitch contrasts, but to really understand contrasts, you need to understand pitch. I thought the Youtube videos below would best demonstrate the meaning. What do you think pitch means, and how do the videos help you understand it?

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