Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Whistle While You Be-Bop

Mirabilis points us to an interesting article on a language that is whistled, not spoken. The original report, from Reuters, stresses how the brains of native Silbo speakers - Silbo being the non-whistled name of the whistling language - have been shown to process the whistling the same way the rest of us process English or Spanish or whatever.

But this rings a bell. I do believe that music has already been studied the same way. The conclusions, IIRC, were that master musicians processed music the same way the rest of us process language, the exception being - you did know there had to be an exception, right? - jazz musicians. In their case, the constant emphasis on improvisation prevented or mitigated the effect, and so the jazz folk forever heard music with the entire brain, as does a child.