Communicative interaction in spontaneous music and speech

Sarah Hawkins, Ian Cross, Richard Ogden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Speech and music are both communicative media, but though scholars have compared their formal properties, research into parameters that influence everyday talking and the group performance of music (as opposed to formal writ- ten or read language, and presentational music) is only in its infancy. Starting from the position that speech and music share many communicative functions, albeit often in different proportions, we have begun to examine conversation and joint music-making in a search for common processes underlying successful spoken conversation and joint musical action, compared with unsuccessful interactions. The present paper first examines musical and spoken communication from a number of perspectives, and then reports a study which explores the hypothesis that when interactants make successful music together, they entrain such that spoken and musical pulses are mutually supportive: more closely aligned in time than when the music is less successful.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage, music and interaction.
EditorsMartin Orwin, Christine Howes, Ruth Kempson
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherCollege Publications
ISBN (Print)978-1-84890-124-7
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameCommunication, Mind and Language
PublisherCollege Publications


  • music
  • interaction
  • conversation
  • joint action
  • conversation analysis
  • phonetics

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