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.

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Image courtesy of Sarah Dinu under licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

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 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

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