Perceptual Development: Infant Music Perception

The world of infants is filled with music. Around the world caregivers sing to infants, rousing them with play songs and lulling them to sleep with lullabies. In Western culture, toys and programming aimed at infants often include music. Even when people talk to preverbal infants they add musical features to their speech, such as higher pitch, wider pitch contours, highly rhythmic patterning, and abundant repetition. Some questions discussed in this entry are: Why is music for infants so prevalent? What do infants perceive when they hear music? How does musical acquisition compare to linguistic acquisition? And how does musical development interact with other aspects of perceptual and cognitive development?

As with languages, there are many different musical systems, such as Western tonal structure and Indian ...

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