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Cowick Barton, 121 Cowick Lane, Exeter EX2 9HF

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Exeter University Club - Talk by Edward Neather on 'Common Origins of Music and Language'

An Alumni and supporters event
Date13 February 2020
Time14:00 to 15:15
PlaceCowick Barton, 121 Cowick Lane, Exeter EX2 9HF

We are delighted to welcome as speaker one of our members, Dr Edward Neather, who previously taught modern languages at the University.

He tells us that the idea of a common origin to music and language is not new. In 1772, the German philosopher Herder wrote, “the tradition of Antiquity says that the first language of the human race was song. 10 years later Rousseau wrote, “With the first voices came the first articulations or sounds…Rhythm and sound are born with syllables…Thus verse, singing and speech have a common origin…”

Music and language share some essential features. In common, they have pitch, volume, stress, tone, pauses and rhythm. Rhythm is fundamental, not just to language and music but to life – the beating of the pulse is the body’s own metronome.

The performance and appreciation of music is a universal feature of the human race, found in all societies. Somehow, like language, music has been encoded into the human genome.

In this talk Edward looks at ways in which ideas about the common origins of music and language have developed since the 18th century.


To book your place, please contact Frances by 6 February. Members are also welcome to meet there from 12 noon for lunch.

Please visit the Exeter University Club - Exeter Branch website for more information

ProviderAlumni and supporters

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