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IPFS News Link • Science

How Does the West African Talking Drum Accurately Mimic Human Speech?

• arclein
"The talking drum is unique in that it has a foot in both language and music camps, and because its existence reminds us of the thin boundary between speech and music," says the paper's lead author, Cecilia Durojaye, a musicologist affiliated with Arizona State University's psychology department, in a statement. Yorùbá is a tonal language that uses three distinct tones at different frequencies. Similarly, the drums have three main tones, using rising and falling pitch to reproduce speech sounds. This allows the instruments to imitate Yorùbá oral literature, including the emotions of spoken words.