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How a young child sings a well-known song before she can speak

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 November 2022

Stefanie Stadler Elmer*
Affiliation:
University of Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract

Through micro-genetic analysis of early singing, I describe and explain the complexity of song as an elementary cultural expression. For educators, it is important to understand the key role of song with and by young children as a means to convey feelings and musico-linguistic rules. Song consists of melody and lyrics, both of which are connected by metrical rules to form a Gestalt. A song sung by 18-month-old Lynn exemplifies that she produces the melody with ease, but shows difficulty forming the words. By following rules, she forms and expresses feelings of belonging to those who shared their singing with her previously.

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Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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