Rhythm Acquisition

Babies detect unfamiliar music rhythms easier than adults
Some potentially fascinating ideas from this research. Mentions of language acquisition and the notion, dear to culturalists throughout the history of anthropology, that enculturation is a selection process from a large set of possibles. The latter notion runs a little bit like the fact that infants are able to reproduce any speech sound at a certain point in their development but that they then learn to restrict their production to those sounds that are present in their native languages.
IMVHO, the type of research this item describes would be much more relevant to most music research than efforts to localize “music processing” in the brain.


About enkerli

French-speaking ethnographer, homeroaster, anthropologist, musician, coffee enthusiast. View all posts by enkerli

2 responses to “Rhythm Acquisition

  • Alexandre

    It does go counter to the vision of learning as a transmission and accumulation of information. The learning mechanism, at least in language acquisition, is seen as more like a filter. The old “Culture and Personality” school mainly saw potentialities and had this notion of tabula rasa (“blank slate”) for children and culture. For linguists, those potentialities are already encoded in the brain.

  • orange.

    That´s interesting. You could talk of enculturalization processes not only in terms of selection, but in such of reduction. This has some transformatory influence on the meaning of the term ´learning`, as this traditionally is rather linked to growth, non?

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