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Synchronization in speech and singing: different temporal organizations of the Brazilian song and speech

Grant number: 11/14435-3
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2011 - November 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal researcher:Beatriz Raposo de Medeiros
Grantee:Beatriz Raposo de Medeiros
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The purpose of this research is to observe the greater or lesser synchronization between two speakers/two singers when producing speech/singing simultaneously, in order to point out the differences in temporal organization of speech and singing. The synchronization of independent events that can be integrated rests on the ability of entrainment. The conceptof entrainment designates the process in which two systems interact in order to adjust the temporal events, or its periodicity. Both speech and singing are produced over time, hence, they possess a temporal structure. This temporal structure can provide a more regular or less regular metric. Recitation of prayers or nursery rhymes, for example, seem to sound more rhythmic, that is, they have a temporal organization that easily reveals their metric. However, one can not have the same intuition about spontaneous speech. Thus, three types of speech (the text in prose, the text of the song and rhymes) and two types of singing (no syncopatedand syncopated) were chosen in order to observe whether the structure of each one differs in terms of temporal organization. It is assumed that synchronization is more easily achieved, when the metric structure of a text is more predictable, for example, as is the case of rhymes. It is assumed that singing is a type of speech (sung speech) and that between speech (less metric) and singing (more metric), so to speak, there is not a breakthrough in terms of temporal organization, but rather a gradation. This will bring to light the discussion about speech and singing sharing the same temporal structure as evidence that both may share common cognitive abilities. (AU)

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