Sound & Music

In the investigation of sound in poetry, it seems logical to first take a look at sound itself—how it is created and received by the human body, and how it serves as the link between poetry and music. This will allow for a better understanding of the processes at work when we read, or hear a poem read, aloud. First, I will briefly address the physical means of making and hearing sound, and I then will discuss its relationship to music and how that relationship can be helpful in thinking about sound’s connection to meaning.

Image courtesy of Sarah Dinu under licence

The Science of Sound

When considering the sound of a poem, it is useful to think of the human voice as a type of instrument. In fact, according to Lanier, “[t]he human voice is practically a reed-instrument of the hautboy class, the vocal chords being the two thin vibrating reeds, and the mouth and throat (buccal cavity) constituting the … Continue reading The Science of Sound

Image courtesy of Photo Phiend under licence

Poetry & Music

There are many connections between poetry and music. In a way, poetry serves as a link between the sound of music and the language of prose. Poetry and music seem to share two aspects of sound particularly in common: rhythm and tune. Perrine writes the following about the music of poetry: Our love of rhythm … Continue reading Poetry & Music