Music & Language

I read this article about natural translators and musicians a while ago, and it got me thinking. Being a musician myself and having started my musical education at the tender age of three, I wonder if my musical talent has anything to do with my linguistic ability – or if it maybe even helped it emerge.

To be sure, I’ve met plenty of musicians, including professional ones, who have a terrible time with languages, and although I have a surprising (or maybe not?) number of music-making colleagues, there are plenty who can’t carry a tune in a bucket, much less play an instrument. But still, it seems to me that there is some kind of connection between music and language, beyond the obvious that – as far as I know – all languages use inflections to convey meaning, so that in a way we sing when we speak. 

I am also the kind of person who learns best when speaking and hearing things (for example new vocabulary), although I am not entirely sure that that has anything to do with music. But we do say somebody has an ear for languages, don’t we, so maybe there is a connection after all.

What do you think?
Is there a connection between being musically inclined and having a knack for languages?
Are you a linguist and a musician?

Please share in the comments!

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