Aniruddh D. Patel

in Music, Language, and the Brain

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780195123753
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848034 | DOI:

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Certain inconsistencies can be observed when looking into the relationship between musical and linguistic meaning. As Claude Lévi-Strauss suggests, music is the only language which is simultaneously understandable and untranslatable since, although it would be easy to translate between human languages, it would be difficult if not entirely impossible to translate music into music or music into language without having to alter the original material's meaning. On another note, it is perceived to be easier for music to overcome cultural boundaries than language since another culture's music is not as likely to entail losing interest when compared to a speech being delivered in a foreign language. However, we have to consider the translatability of language to that of music since languages present different ways of meaning transmissions between individuals, which music is unable to do.

Keywords: musical meaning; linguistic meaning; human languages; cultural boundaries

Chapter.  22223 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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