The role of melisma in language-music interface in Zuoquan folk songs

  • Kaixin ZHAO

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Studies on the relationship between language and music have been done for a long time. In addition to comparing their similarity in processing and evolutionary from a cognitive perspective, many studies also discuss the interface of the structure in music and prosody, and the contour in language tone and music melody. This dissertation focuses on the two aspects of music and language interface. With Zuoquan folk songs as a carrier of analysis, this research tries to figure out how melisma, a common music technique used in traditional Chinese music, plays a role in expressing the relationship between music and language. Through observation, it is found that melisma reflects the stress in the prosodic structure of language to some extent. Also, by using melisma, the enriched melody on most of the syllables corresponds to the tonal contour of the syllable. In conclusion, melisma is indeed a cue to represent the interface of music and language.
Date of AwardDec 2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorLian Hee WEE (Supervisor)

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