Music and Language Are Linked
“And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”
Evolutionists often claim that language and music evolved independently of each other. However, new research along several lines is showing that there is a close connection between music and language.
Researchers have been studying the effect of music on verbal comprehension. Electrical activity within the brain was tracked, using electrodes attached to the scalps of volunteers. They found that those volunteers who had just heard the trilling of flutes, for example, identified the word “bird” a split second faster than those who had not heard the music. This effect is called priming. When volunteers heard a church anthem, they more quickly identified the word “devotion” than those who had not. The study showed that these effects were consistent, whether the words had concrete meanings, were cultural references or were abstract concepts. Other research has shown that when a region of the brain called Broca’s area is damaged, both recognition of harmonic chords as well as language are impaired, also suggesting a connection between language and music.
Both music and language are gifts of God. As the Psalmist noted, the songs he sang were placed into his mouth by God. Genesis tells us that Adam and Eve could talk the day they were created. While music isn’t mentioned, we see that within a couple of generations, they were making musical instruments and must therefore have played music.
Father, thank You for the gifts of music and language. Help me to use these to praise You. Amen.
Science News, 2/28: 2004, p. 133, B. Bower, “Song Sung Blue.” Illustration: Approximate location of Broca’s area highlighted in gray. (PD)