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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

MUS 17.06 The Language-Music Connection

Language and music are universal components of human experience, so integral that they are often considered part of what defines us as humans. While we treat them as distinct phenomena, the overlap between the two is immense, structurally, neurologically, and culturally. Such connections have long been recognized, but recent research from diverse fields like linguistics, (ethno)musicology, cognitive psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience continues to reveal just how intertwined the two faculties are. Drawing on this body of research and our respective specialties, we explore the language-music connection from the basic ingredients (pitch, timbre, rhythm, syntax), to cultural expression, to evolution and origins. Running through the course is a hands-on case study of a West African xylophone tradition where language and music are so intimately related that they cannot be separated. Students will be taught by a master of the tradition, Mamadou Diabaté, to feel for themselves what it means to speak through an instrument.


Levin, McPherson

Cross Listed Courses

COCO 023 LING 11.13

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:INT or ART; WCult:NW

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.