Music is a Language

Absolutely! Music and Art are fundamentally at heart – Languages . . .

Laurie Riley Music

Some research indicates that when we actively (rather than passively) listen to music  –  in other words, when we focus and pay attention to the music we hear  –  it is processed in the same area of the brain as language. The same is true when we learn music by ear. In all respects, music is a language; a system of communication.

without sufficient prior listening and participatory exposure, learning music from notation forces us to use only the part of the brain that also processes mathematics. Although music and mathematics are intimately related (see my book Singing the Universe Awake), true music-learning should utilize also the part of the brain that processes language. If music is to be played in a way that is more than robotic, it must be learned as language is learned  –  aurally first, and then later refined through the use of written symbols…

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