ira_wyatt (ira_wyatt) wrote,
ira_wyatt
ira_wyatt

  • Music:

On Languages and music

Here's something I don't think I've talked about here before: I like to listen to music in languages I don't understand. Oh, I listen to plenty of music in languages I do speak but I seem to have a much larger collection of foreign-language music than even the music buffs of my acquaintance. And I'm no music buff. I have very little musical training of any kind (okay, I was in my high schools a cappella choir for a year, but that's about it.)

I have pretty eclectic taste in music to begin with but since I overheard someone a few weeks ago asking why people listen to music that they can't understand the lyrics to, I thought I would explain why I do.

For one thing, I'm a linguistics buff and I get a kick out of just listening to other languages. Just experiencing the different rhythms and phonemes of a new language is fun for me.

And also, when you can't understand the sense of a language, it becomes a kind of music, all on its own. When combined with actual music, the voice becomes just another instrument, the sound completely separated from the sense. It's something that's enjoyable to a certain type of mind, I suppose.

And then, also, I love language as a whole so I've been inspired to pick up bits and pieces of other languages after being exposed to them through music.

There's also the possibility of just liking the musical style of something and being willing to listen to it no matter what the spoken language is.

So there are a few reasons someone might listen to music in a language that they can't understand. I'm sure there are plenty more out there but these are mine.
Tags: language, music
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