Master's Theses

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access

Date of Award

Fall 2001

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Robert Markley


What is the essence of the relationship between language and music as processed by the human brain? Is music actually a language-does it reflect syntax, grammatical rules, and meaning as language docs? This thesis study examined commonalties of processing between language and music- specifically, the potential connection between the rhythmic syllabic pattern of a song title, and a matching melodic temporal rhythm within the song chorus of unfamiliar instrumental music. Original multi-track full-score Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) compositions were utilized to control for familiarity and create manipulation of independent variables. Participants listened to different song versions and completed 'title-choice' and 'ratings' tasks. Obtained results did not support the hypothesis or equivalency in processing for rhythmic syllable pattern or song title and melodic temporal pattern with in song chorus.


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Copyright 2001 Jeffery N. Howard

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