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Music in speech patterns

Richard Bridge 19 Oct 11 - 04:32 PM
Helen 20 Oct 11 - 04:00 PM
Helen 21 Oct 11 - 05:59 PM
Helen 21 Oct 11 - 06:27 PM
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Subject: Music in speech patterns
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 04:32 PM

I have stumbled upon "Human Target" the TV programme. It is incredibly annoying how the presumably Hollywood actress Mrs Varma portraying "Mrs Pucci" wanders between English accents - from the upper crust (think Purdey in the Avengers) to East End gangster.

Why can't people hear this music?

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Subject: RE: Music in speech patterns
From: Helen
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 04:00 PM

Hi Richard,

I know exactly what you mean.

I read something a long time ago stating that people with musical talent can also be good at languages, because they can hear the melody in the spoken words.

I often hear songs which have melodic phrases showing that the way the words would be spoken could have been the inspiration for the song melody. The only one which springs to mind immediately is by an Australian singer called Lanie Lane. Here's a clip: Lanie Lane, What Do I Do


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Subject: RE: Music in speech patterns
From: Helen
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 05:59 PM


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Subject: RE: Music in speech patterns
From: Helen
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 06:27 PM

I forgot to say last time that I saw an interview on tv last week: Jennifer Byrne Presents: Alexander McCall-Smith

He writes The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series, The Sunday Philosophy Club Series (aka Isabel Dalhousie Mysteries) and 44 Scotland Street Series, among others. He said he submitted a manuscript to the publisher for one of his No 1 Ladies' Series and the editor asked him if he had noticed that he had written the Botswanan detective's dialogue as if the Scottish Isabel Dalhousie had been speaking.

From transcript of interview

Approx 22:10 minutes into interview: "ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH:I'm often asked whether I could bring them together, so people often say, 'Couldn't Isabel Dalhousie meet Ramotswe? It would be a great meeting and they'd have so much to talk about.' I think that actually really would create problems with credibility, because fiction - reading a work of fiction involves a sort of leap of faith or suspension of incredulity or disbelief, in that the reader says, 'Right, I'm going to imagine that this is true.' And of course that is why we can shed real tears, when we read something very emotionally engaging in fiction, because we know at one level that it's not true, but at another level we think it is. I think that if you then went to the extent of making it less credible by introducing a character from another fictional universe, it would compromise that. I did it inadvertently once. I got the characters mixed up, in that I'd shown the manuscript of the latest Ramotswe book to my editor in New York - Edward Kastenmeier - and Edward said to me, 'Take a look at page 75 or whatever it is, and you will see that Ramotswe suddenly starts talking like Isabel Dalhousie and indeed he was absolutely right. I'd switched into Isabel Dalhousie mode, and so I was able to correct it."

Also later in the interview:

Approx 25:00 minutes into interview: "JENNIFER BYRNE: What do you have to do, apart from drink a lot of tea, we all know that from your books. How do get into this dissociative state? It's a gold mine!

"ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH: I just have to sit there and start. I think that's result of practice, in that it's the same as doing anything. It's the same as playing the piano. A person who learns how to play the piano doesn't sit there and think, 'I'm going to put my thumb on middle C and my middle finger on G,' and things like that. The fingers automatically go to notes. But certainly pursuing these musical analogies, I think that what I do hear is I hear certain rhythms in my mind. I hear a sort of beat and that - the words just fit into that. To begin with, there's certainly some sort of beat going on, and then the words fit into place into the sentences and the sentences become paragraphs."


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