Shakespeare Music

Very interesting… talking about how music uses many places in the brain simultaneously…

Music, Language, and the Brain
Aniruddh D. Patel

"Poetry is somewhere between singing and speaking," says neurologist Ani Patel. "It's using the voice in a regulated way, with pitch and time. The Illiad and the Odyssey, before they were written down, were transmitted orally – patterns have tremendous pneumonic power." …

"Shakespeare had a wonderfully talented use of rhythm, imagery, and auditory patterns," says Patel, whose new book, Music, Language, and the Brain, was released last week. "The fact that it's rhythmic is very important because that helps us remember poems and patterns." Listening to music, Patel explains, "using many different levels of brain structure simultaneously – the rhythm gives predictably  and time, and the melody gives it a temporal organization in terms of chunks that flow logically from one to the next. They connect almost like a puzzle – each part of the melody has cues that set up expectations of the next part. When we speak, we don't remember the exact words, just the gist of what someone said, but with songs, we remember every word because it uses all these other levels [of the brain]. Like a mental chain, it creates a structure – once you put words in, it makes the sequence of words much easier to remember." ….

Patel explains that, according to a recent study by one of his colleagues, an early love of music was often traceable to a memory of a  positive experience.  "It was never a music lesson, but always some event with the family – at home or in a church – when music reached them deeply in a loving environment." …

A Musical Shakespeare Evening
The San Diego Shakespeare Society presents "not only the songs of Shakespeare in their original settings, but also what music meant" to the Bard's audience.
Neurosciences Institute Auditorium, 10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive, La Jolla, Monday, November 19, at 7:30 p.m. 619-246-8735.

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About mikeymikez

Interested in music, film, good books and Korean culture.
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6 Responses to Shakespeare Music

  1. funkyglasses says:

    Ooooooh…I want to read this.

  2. Mikey says:

    Isn't this interesting? Explains so much. I think I have to get this book too. If there's a way I can get book to you, let me know. 🙂

  3. Duane says:

    I may have to get myself a copy as well!

  4. Duane says:

    Not sure what happened to my comment. I'd written that my 5 and 3 yr old daughters both know Shakespeare's "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" sonnet because they learned how to sing it by hearing the ringtone on my phone.

  5. Mikey says:

    It sounds extremely interesting to me, who has always loved music, not even knowing why exactly…

  6. Mikey says:

    That's so cool! I really believe that everything they learn at a young age stays with them for life. I love being able to help my nieces learn about so many wonderful things, while their brains are pliable, and they hunger to know more about the world.

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