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Sound sense

Much more is gained from hearing and telling stories, rather than just reading them, says Pat Williams.


There was once a rich merchant who had fallen on hard times. He had a daughter famed far and wide for her beauty and wisdom. An elderly miser had long wanted to possess her, as he possessed so much else that was beautiful, by buying it and hoarding it, so that what he owned was never seen again. And in the merchant’s misfortune he saw his chance. He asked for the daughter’s hand in marriage. In exchange, he would pay all the merchant’s debts. Though she loved her father very much, the girl was horrified at the prospect. Then the miser said, ‘Let us make the outcome a matter of your choice. If you can pass the test I have in mind, then I will free you from all thoughts of marriage, and still pay your father’s debts. But if not …’ ”

Reading this, you might be mildly curious about what is going to happen next. But if you were hearing it from a storyteller, you would probably get caught up in the tale, waiting intently to hear how it ends. You would be responding to the storyteller’s projection of emotion and mood, as well as to subtle variations of tone, and to his or her face and body language, through all of which the misery of the poor merchant, the repulsiveness and cunning of the elderly miser, and the apprehension of the beautiful daughter would be vividly conjured up. And you would be listening to words which had presented themselves spontaneously in the telling. Characters and events would seem very real, almost as if you were there at the scene, and the outcome would matter to you. You and the storyteller would, in effect, have actually shared in creating the story between you.

Essentially, that is the difference between reading and telling stories. Reading is fixed. The spoken word is not. Reading is silent. The spoken word fills the room with sound, and all the rich harmonics within the human voice. What is more, when I tell you a story, our eyes meet, and brighten; our senses mingle; we are in it together. And this is always so. The storyteller is responding to the people in the room, as well as to all the inherent connections, backwards and forwards in time. And the people in that room all have a sense of each other and of the occasion – they are held, so to speak, within the connections and potentialities inherent in the moment, as the story is heard. Another day, a different group, and the story will be told and heard differently.

What I am concerned with here is the voice that tells and the ear that hears, and how that develops in infancy, and the connections and relationships between all manner of things that happen as a consequence – always remembering that none of that information has any bearing on the actual event of listening and hearing in itself – all that matters is that a story should find its effect in the imagination and mind of the hearer, and also the teller. Sound, hearing and connectedness are the essence of story, because every element in a tale, even fugitive things such as the time of day, a berry falling from a tree, a footfall or a half-seen shadow, are related to everything else.

And then of course, saturating all that, outside the story – but not outside the moments in which it is told – are the relationships I’ve already mentioned, of storyteller to listeners, and of listeners to each other, so that they create between them a single listening mind that hears and absorbs far more than any one individual might. And then there are the further connections between associations, and symbols, held inside the greater web – an endlessly opening-out scalar web of metaphor and meaning. And then there are the connections between all the disparate sounds and the effects they may have – like the shifts in someone’s voice tones, even very subtle shifts: for instance, the shift in tonal quality of a woman’s voice a couple of days before she begins to ovulate is discernable and, though well out of awareness to most of us, no doubt will have its subliminal effect. And then there is the relationship between the story as told at that moment, and where it came from, which, if it’s a real, traditional story, may be far back down the many centuries. And then there are all our mirror neurons chiming together – which means that the teller may be projecting emotions that perhaps a listener has trouble in feeling, but is able to pick up from the teller. Or conversely, the listener finds things which the teller has indeed communicated – but remains unaware of.

For when a story is told, it is of the moment, as the spoken voice itself is of the moment. It is spontaneously generated out of the air for that moment, and for the people present in that room. And when the story is over, it will die back again, into silence – as music does.

It is this connectedness, and an awareness that the present moment comprises and is drenched in so many elements, yet is also linked to what came before it, the threads of each person, and of each story, trailing back to its origins, which can compulsion, whenever telling a story, to convey to their audience also the provenance of that story. Or, if they do not, then at least to remember it themselves, as they cross the story’s threshold: “I got it from so and so,” they often say, to the audience or to themselves, “who heard it from so and so …”, and so on, right back to the source, if the storyteller knows it … for example, “and originally it was from Babylon, in the third century, but has been found in China and Peru and other places too.” When storytellers do this, it is to affirm to themselves that the story is not theirs; that its essence, its pattern, exists eternally in the metaphoric world; a great gleaming fish, if you like, swimming in the timeless ocean of story; with a life and essence of its own, independent of any of us; and should we meet any example of it, in whatever form, it can nourish us, and continue to do so, sometimes forever. So telling the story’s provenance is also to acknowledge that other connectedness, the great chain of voices stretching back deep into the past.

Whenever we read stories, of course, we join the fainter body of all those invisible others who have read them too. But when we hear them, there are all these other factors and dimensions and connections making for a much greater depth and immediacy – it has to do with all the relationships I’ve indicated, and also – as I’ve said – with the nature and qualities of sound. We know the power of sound and intonation and rhythm because we have experienced the wordless power of music to move mind and mood and body, and we know the word-filled effect of the rhythms and intonations of song and poetry. And we know, too, of the traditions and psychologies in other cultures, concerning sound, such as mantras and chanting and the healing power said to be in sounds and vibrations.

Voice and hearing

According to Antonio Damasio, in his book The Feeling of What Happens, the auditory system is closest to those parts of the brain which regulate life and the basic emotions. The physical vibrations which result in sound sensations are, he says, actually a variation on touching – they affect our bodies directly and deeply, much more so than do the patterns of light that lead to vision. Patterns of light allow us to see objects which can sometimes be very far away. But what we hear feels closer and more intimate – because it actually penetrates our bodies. There is no physical penetration with the eye, but there is with the ear.1 Hence the primacy in the operation of sound in our lives – indeed, it makes sense of the fact that, as we know, the ear will continue to hear sounds even when we are asleep, and it is also said to be the last sense to leave us when we die.

This primacy of sound, coupled with the knowledge (again to be found in Damasio’s book) that the human brain is hardwired for the narrative mode, makes it mandatory, you might say, that we humans should tell lots of stories, that we should exchange them, that we should hear and appreciate them throughout our lives, and that we should learn from them and deepen our understanding. No wonder Aristotle called the eyes the organs of temptation, but the ears the organs of instruction. No wonder that stories told to us will usually have a far greater impact than those we read – as do stories we ourselves tell to others. When we tell a story, we are aiming to transport those others into the story so that they can ‘live’ it – but then that happens to us as well. The sound of our own voice, the rhythms and patterns and silences and shocks, affects us too. As we scan and monitor the responses of the listener, part of our own mind, at a level different from the one which is speaking, is actually a listener, receiving all kinds of new insights, new ways of seeing what is going on – so much so that I, for one, find that no matter how well I know a story, on each occasion I tell it, I see things in it I had never seen before. The experience of a story, a real story, seems to be endless. Whatever is therapeutic in what our listeners hear from us, through stories, acts on ourselves as well.

Sound goes very deep because of its closeness to those parts of the brain associated with emotion, pain, pleasure and motivation, and is also very close indeed to other senses of the body, such as touch. This, of course, is what makes music so powerful. I think this may be part of the reason why lots of young people, so many of whom these days you could describe as psychologically unweaned, surround themselves with so much sound – perhaps it is because, through their iPods, even in the most public of places, they can enclose themselves in sound, as in an insulating or security blanket.

According to Damasio, the ear starts operating seven-and-a-half months before the eye, on the 45th day of pregnancy, a fact which makes a powerful case for the ascendancy of sound and music within our senses, particularly in our early, pre-verbal years. Conductor Daniel Barenboim, whose life is bound up in sound, thinks that “because the ear does not only take sound or noise in, but sends it directly to the brain, it sets into motion the whole creative process of thought that the human being is capable of.”2

So hearing, though it may be inward, is never passive. There’s an awful lot going on. Very many of us may have seen how, when we move our listeners’ awareness into the metaphorical world, they are outwardly silent and still – but what they have heard can result in profound changes in perception and behaviour. (Last week, for instance, I told a client a powerful but extremely brief story. He was very quiet for a while and then said, “Thank you. That changes my life.” I saw him a month later, and found that his attitude, and his consequent behaviour and actions, had indeed changed profoundly – the story had taken only about three minutes to tell but it seemed to have resonated through his whole being. Something else I know from personal experience is the power of sound to sort out the mind. If I am stuck in a muddle when trying to write something, I have to try and say aloud the thought that is eluding me, as well as I can express it, and what I hear brings clarity, and the right words come.

According to Steven Mithen in The Singing Neanderthals, the making of sounds and a kind of music and song seem to have evolved and developed together, earlier than language.3 And so I wonder – though this is very tenuous speculation – whether there may be some connection between this development and the fact that every spoken language really does have its own song, characteristic though wordless, and the song of itself has huge power. Here are two nice anecdotes illustrating this.

Once, when I was on holiday with friends in Sicily, one of our number, whose name is George, started chatting up two girls in the bar we were drinking in. He probably knew a few touristy words in Italian, like ciao and arrivederci and café con leche, but not much more, so with enormous gusto and huge good humour he began to speak to them in what sounded exactly like Italian but was actually English. George has a very good ear, and he got the ‘song’ of spoken Italian exactly right. The girls thought it was a hoot: they enjoyed it, and so did we. When the girls left, a couple of local men joined us. They genuinely believed George was an Italian-speaker, and did their best to make him admit it. Try as he might, George couldn’t convince them otherwise. They just couldn’t imagine that he could make their language sound so authentic if he didn’t know any of its words.

The second anecdote is about my sister-in-law, an opera singer, who was preparing to sing Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s opera Macbeth, at Covent Garden. It is a huge role, and she was busy memorising it. “Gosh,” she said to me at one point, “I’m glad I’m not an actor. They have to learn so many words.” “But you’ve got the words and the music to learn,” I said. “Isn’t that twice as hard?” “No,” she said, “it’s much, much easier. I just hang the words on the music, and there they stay, exactly where I want them.” It’s a lesson I’ve never forgotten. Words and their meanings do ‘hang’ on the sound or music with which they are uttered. The sound and song of the spoken word are very important aspects in the communication, reception and absorption of meaning. Hearing affects how we actually see things, too, as we know if we reflect on the fact that, in films, the background music will dictate both our emotions and our interpretation of the event. Think, for instance, of a scene in which children are at a fairground, carefully watched by an adult – first with jolly, reassuring music behind it, and then with sinister music. The meaning we put on what we are seeing changes entirely.

Stories in childhood

Clearly, storytelling is as natural as breathing. So how far in our lives do they go back? “Telling stories,” Damasio says in The Feeling of What Happens, “in the sense of registering what happens in the form of brain maps, is probably a brain obsession and begins relatively early, both in terms of evolution and in terms of the complexity of the neural structures required to create narratives. Telling stories precedes language, since it is, in fact, a condition for language …”1

Later he says, “Philosophers often puzzle about … the intriguing fact that mental contents are ‘about’ things outside the mind. I believe that the mind’s pervasive ‘aboutness’ is rooted in the brain’s storytelling attitude. The brain inherently
represents the structures and states of the organism and, in the course of regulating the organism, as it is mandated to do, the brain naturally weaves wordless stories about what happens to an organism immersed in an environment.”

Remembering the closeness of ear to brain, and that stories precede language, we can understand that children receive their first ‘stories’ almost from the time they are born – if not before, in the womb, where the sound and vibration of their mothers’ voices will be heard, as indeed music itself is heard. And it is likely, if we are to believe Damasio, that these unborn children will be linking the sounds they hear in a narrative way.

I see two precursors, once we are born, which during infant development are received with just as much enthusiasm, and which have within them the same elements of communication, that stories told in words will have later – that is to say, tone, pattern and implicit narrative. The first is what the neuroscientists and other researchers call ‘motherese’, and the second is lullaby. Through these, infants and toddlers encounter from the very start that web of connections, spaces, intervals and rhythms that they later find in real stories with real words.

Motherese, it turns out, is a universal language. Normally, as language develops, the sounds we make become quite different in different cultures, so much so that adults can’t even accurately pronounce many of the phonemes in languages other than their own. The Japanese can’t say the English ‘l’, and the German guttural ‘ch’ is hard for many English speakers (though not, of course, for the Scots). Vowel sounds are so subtly different that they are incredibly difficult to shade into when one learns a language as an adult. Yet even though language, intonation and cadence develop so differently in different cultures, and even in different dialects, ‘motherese’ is the same the world over. It has been documented in a variety of cultures, and across a typologically diverse set of languages, including English, Japanese, Hausa (spoken in Nigeria) and even sign language. In spite of the name, it is also used naturally by fathers, other adults, and across diverse ages and social groups. The billing and cooing, the ‘song’ in the baby talk, which may slide up and down the vocal register or switch from a high note to a low – all parents do this, all over the world. In a way, it seems to me that we can see these croonings as the first narratives and stories we tell our children, and motherese itself as the first link, in all humans, in the chain of music, song, story and language.

In a paper in the journal Human Nature, entitled “The poetics of babytalk”, researchers David Miall and Ellen Dissanayake analysed spontaneous baby talk between a mother and eight-week-old child. They suggest that the ability to respond to poetic features of spoken language is present from as early as the first few weeks of life. Their research also led them to believe that the patterns laid down in this way provided the basis for what they call, in researchspeak, “later aesthetic production and response”.4 My feeling is that motherese may already be a metaphoric language. I like to think that, to the infant drenched in a chaotic and undifferentiated swirl of sound and vibrations, the tones and reaches of motherese may perhaps be mapping early pathways and boundaries and safe havens.

My other contention is that the ‘song’ which is motherese is the precursor to those more formed melodies on which hang sounds which are actual words, though words at this stage understood only by the singer. That, of course, is the lullaby. Lullabies, too, it appears, are recognisable to any listener for exactly what they are, again irrespective of culture; so here again, through lullaby, mothers all over the world are speaking the same ‘international baby language’, which in its intervals, cadences and patterns is a ‘sung story’ shared between mother and child. I have tried assembling a lot of lullabies from various cultures and playing them one after another, and the closeness in musical expression make these also seem, to me at least, quite clearly something approaching a universal language.5

When Damasio says that the brain naturally weaves wordless stories about what happens to an organism immersed in an environment, he is talking about what he calls “the representation in images of sequences of brain events, which occurs in brains simpler than ours, and is the stuff of which stories are made”. At the level of the human brain, I think we can watch this in toddlers. They may possess only a handful of words, if that, but we’ve seen how they can be held, attention fixed, by the narrative and song of a story they are being told. Or we’ve watched them, unfortunately, plonked in front of the TV by a busy mum, gazing so intently that they really do seem to be trying to follow what’s unfolding – paying apparently close attention to the sequences of the story and the teller’s tone of voice, picking up something of the sense of the story and possibly, or so I imagine, the flavour of the words’ meaning, even without understanding the words themselves.

The harmonising between mother and baby in the lullaby, and the rapt mutual focus within a story between teller and listener, is known to anyone who has experienced it. It’s the process usually called entrainment, which was first observed in physics in the 17th century, and is actually a phenomenon of resonance, just as sound is. Entrainment is defined as the tendency for two oscillating bodies to lock into phase so that they vibrate in harmony, and the phenomenon seems to be universal, appearing in chemistry, pharmacology, medicine, psychology, astronomy, etc, and to some degree in almost every harmonious conversation of any length. The classic example of entrainment shows individual pulsing heart muscle cells. When they are brought close together, they begin pulsing in synchrony. Another example of the entrainment effect is that women who live in the same household often find that their menstrual cycles start to coincide. Lovers, too, pulse in harmony, their minds as well as their bodies often so in tune that they speak the same words and think the same thoughts at the same time. We even see it in animals, as happens when horse and rider suddenly seem almost like one being. Indeed, a lion tamer has also described the same sort of resonant connection, and hence understanding, between tamers and their lions.6 There are times, too, in the therapy room when the rapport is so close that two minds chime as one – and time can pass in a flash or appear to be suspended. This time distortion is, of course, a hallmark of hypnotic states – and an almost universal experience when we listen to stories.

Hypnotic tradition in storytelling

All effective therapists know that stories are a crucial and powerful way of overriding maladaptive patterns with superior ones, and that when the right story is told to someone in the right way, at the right time, it will literally ‘entrance’ them – throwing them into a state of inwardness, in which the story becomes a real, lived, experience. The veracity of the trance has been understood, through direct experience, right down the centuries – and the understanding is so deep and axiomatic that it is actually embedded in the language. Stories, we say, are spellbinding, enchanting, mesmerising, transporting, entrancing. And if intention is to suggest, or communicate, something specific to the entranced person, then you usually need the human voice. So it is no real surprise to find that traditional storytellers have always known and used what today we call hypnotic techniques. These old tellers, both of East and West, knew exactly how to capture and keep listeners’ attention, and drive a story deeper into the imagination. Here is the Irish poet Padraic Colum, writing nearly a century ago about the storyteller of his youth (I will quote it at some length, to pick out some of the ways traditional storytellers created and deepened a trance state): “The storyteller whom I listened to when I was young,” he says, “told his stories in the evening; he told them by the light of a candle and a peat fire – often by the light of a peat fire only. There were shadows upon the walls around. Nothing that he told us had to be visualised in the glare of day or by the glare of electric light.”7 [The flickering and shadows and dimness – very hypnotic – reflect the state of mind before sleep.]

Colum also says, “He had a language that had not been written down; he had words that had not been made colourless by constant use in books and newspapers. He was free to make all sorts of rhymes and chimes in the language he used, and to use words that were meaningless except for the overtones of meaning that were in their sounds [as in hypnotic wordplay]. … His audience was small, no more than a score of people, and so he could be intimate in voice and manner. He had few gestures, this particular storyteller; sometimes he beat his hands together; sometimes he raised a stick that was by him to give solemnity to some happening. And outside was the silence of the night and the silence of a countryside.” [So the setting is hypnotic, and in the intimate, inward silence the beating of the hands or the raising of the stick would focus attention.]

Colum says he learned that a story that is to be told has to be about happenings; that it has to be in sentences that can be easily and pleasantly carried over by the human voice; that it has nothing to say about states of mind; that in its descriptions it has to be free of generalities but full of specifics [thus evoking the sensory modalities through imagery, as the therapist will also do]. Colum also learned from this master storyteller that the story’s characters should be explicable at every moment, even though they do odd and unpredictable things. And that they must be the kind of human beings that the human voice can shepherd, commenting “the voice cannot shepherd divided, many-mooded, complicated people”. This is very interesting to us, I think, as a guide to how to formulate characters in our stories in the therapy room.

“He had various tags,” says Colum, “with which to end his stories.” And he describes the ‘runs’ in traditional storytelling, which were always spoken with a quicker rhythm, as if they were a piece of free verse, spoken to the beating of the storyteller’s hands: “He set off, and there was blackening on his soles, and holing in his shoes; the little birds were taking their rests at the butts of bushes and the tops of the trees, but if they were, he was not”. [Here again, well represented, the repetition, the familiar, reassuring phrases, the axiom, the runs, the rhythms, the images, and the switching of attention – all therapeutic hypnotic techniques.]

Crucially, Colum also says that the best storytellers are the men and women who, in the stories they are telling, seem to be giving us fragments of their own reverie: no matter how exciting the incidents they relate, there is always reverie behind them – the quality of inwardness, the dramatising of something different from what is in our external consciousness, that makes the story told distinct from the story that is written to be read by the reader.

I think therapists or educators would endorse him when he says that “the mood of a story that is to be told to children” [and anyone vulnerable, I would add, as therapy patients are] “should be one of kindliness [this, too, is the overarching mode of therapists]. “I do not mean that the characters in a story should always be kind to each other. I mean that those in the audience should be assured that the teller is inspired with a mood of kindliness … The good characters in the story should undoubtedly be fine and upright, but we should not insist on their being always good boys at school. If they are heroic and adventurous and have a simple-minded goodness, it is enough; the stories they figure in need not bristle with moralities and recommendations to good conduct.”

Later on he says, speaking, I think, for anyone who has dwelt for any length of time within stories, “There are no rules for getting on in the world that is alongside or over or against our practical world; that world is in ourselves, and we can only get on in it by individual impulse …” But a little can be done to strengthen that impulse. “Oral communication of verse and stories is one way. For the human voice, when it can really charge itself with what is in a poem or a story, more powerfully than any other agency, can put into our deeper consciousness those lasting patterns which belong to the deeper consciousness of the race. Through the possession of a part of the heritage of poetry, and of story, children,” he says [and we ourselves, when we are entranced and childlike, I would add], “can enter or keep in the world that has been spoken about – the world of imagination, thought, and intuition.”

The equivalent today

So when we tell stories, or hear them, we are affected by the same elements, whether we are in a cave with members of our tribe, or with nomads around a fire at night, or in a 21st-century therapy room or classroom, and these include: rhythms, repetitions, wordplay, deliberate simplicities of character, pacing, (paying exquisite attention to your listener’s facial and postural feedback, so you can adjust your metaphor and story in terms of their responses), playing with sound by means of empty words, runs of connecting words, paradoxical language, ensuring that words evoke images which will lend ‘colour’ to what you are saying, using silence, and occasionally using shock (as a means of refocusing and deepening the inwardness). All this serves to engage the imaginative mind of the listener, ensuring that the story can be experienced in the imagination so comprehensively that, for all practical purposes, it becomes a lived experience.

Legend has it that the eighth-century Arab poet Abu Nuwas once visited Khalaf al-Ahmar to seek his advice on how to write poetry, and was told to begin by memorising one thousand poems. After having accomplished the task, he recited them from memory to the master, who then instructed him promptly to forget them. This fable, even in this over-simplified form, describes exactly the process that everyone who tells stories knows: the structural elements of the story become so internalised in the mind that intellectual thought during the telling is no longer necessary; the storyteller trusts that his spontaneous promptings arise from his deep knowledge of the world of story, and it is that which, together with the relationship between the listener or listeners, will bit by bit be evokedand sensed in the room, and dictate what will be said.8

And of course it is not just storytellers. It is every experienced and intuitive therapist, every musician, teacher, artist, writer, doctor or practitioner of any other occupation, saturated in what they know and practise. I certainly know from my own experience that the elements of stories are like threads or molecular chains. They compose and recompose themselves in the mind according to the needs of the listener. I can sometimes surprise myself by an ability I don’t actually have, seeming to ‘make up’ stories on the spot, or so it looks sometimes, from the outside. But I’m not. Or rather, it isn’t me. I can’t do it to order. It is these story elements and threads and wordless concept-clumps, which I don’t even consciously know; I couldn’t tell you what they are, except that they arrive and combine to make huge metaphorical sense, if the listener’s need is strong, and if I get out of the way.

It really seems to me that these story-elements and threads and concept-shapes are like words in a wordless language, just as sound and music are. And what I really know, through years of experience, as so many others do, and as Damasio does, is that story is the true human language. Real stories are innocent of indoctrination, conditioning, or coercion, because they are way beyond all that. Indeed, they are way beyond the imprisoning walls of culture itself. And this metalanguage, you might call it, saturated in all its many relationships, drenched in sound and meaning, vivid, powerful, colourful, intimate, sometimes, terrifying, numinous, funny, truly human and so much more than words on their own can express, this is a language we are born to. But as with any other language, if it is not to be forgotten or disappear … it needs to be spoken and heard.

Footnote:

At question time after the talk from which this article is adapted, the first, immediate question was: “How did the story end?” I was waiting for it. As a reader, you may well have forgotten the elderly miser, the beautiful daughter, and her father, the unlucky merchant, with which this article began. But because I had begun my talk by telling the first part of that story, the power of the spoken word had kept it alive in listeners’ minds. Even though nearly an hour had passed, they were still waiting to know the outcome. So here, summarised, is the rest of the tale. The miser told the merchant’s daughter he would let her determine what would happen next. “In this leather pouch,” he said, “are two stones I picked up earlier from this path we stand on. One is black, one is white. You must pick out one of them, without looking. If you pick the white one I will pay your father’s debts but you need not marry me. If you pick the black one, you must marry me if you want me to save your father.” Of course he had no intention of losing the bride he so coveted, and so had put two black stones in the bag. However, as you will remember, the merchant’s daughter was as clever as she was beautiful. When she picked out the stone, she glimpsed quickly that it was black, and as if by clumsy accident immediately dropped it so that it lay on the path, indistinguishable from all the other pebbles there. “Oh,” she gasped, “I’m so sorry. We didn’t see what colour it was! But it doesn’t matter – all we need do to is look at the stone you still have in your bag!”

 

Pat Williams is a psychotherapist and author. She has worked actively with stories since 1980, and runs storytelling workshops both for the Human Givens College and elsewhere.

 


This article is adapted from the talk that Pat Williams gave at the 2010 Human Givens Conference in Sunningdale. It first appeared in "Human Givens Journal" Volume 18 - No. 1: 2011

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References:

  1. Damasio, A (2000). The Feeling of What Happens. Vintage.

  2. Barenboim, D (2008). Everything is Connected: the power of music. Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

  3. Mithen, S (2006). The Singing Neanderthal: the origins of music, language, mind and body. Phoenix.

  4. Miall, D S and Dissanayake, E (2003). The poetics of babytalk. Human Nature, 14, 4, 337–64.

  5. I listened to lullabies from Russia, Germany, France, Britain, South Africa, Israel, and Iran.

  6. Campbell, E (1971, revised 1998). Some Unusual Aspects of Communication. ICR Monograph.

  7. Colum, P (1927). The Fountain of Youth. Macmillan Publishing Co Inc. Reissued in 1968.

  8. This paragraph has been adapted from Barenboim, D (2008). Everything is Connected: the power of music. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, page 57.

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