Communicative Musicality: Exploring the basis of human companionship


Communicative Musicality explores the intrinsic musical nature of human interaction. The theory of communicative musicality was developed from groundbreaking studies showing how in mother/infant communication there exist noticeable patterns of timing, pulse, voice timbre, and gesture. Without intending to, the exchange between a mother and her infant follow many of the rules of musical performance, including rhythm and timing.

This is the first book to be devoted to this topic....

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $50.10   
  • New (5) from $51.00   
  • Used (3) from $50.10   
Sending request ...


Communicative Musicality explores the intrinsic musical nature of human interaction. The theory of communicative musicality was developed from groundbreaking studies showing how in mother/infant communication there exist noticeable patterns of timing, pulse, voice timbre, and gesture. Without intending to, the exchange between a mother and her infant follow many of the rules of musical performance, including rhythm and timing.

This is the first book to be devoted to this topic. In a collection of cutting-edge chapters, encompassing brain science, human evolution, psychology, acoustics and music performance, it focuses on the rhythm and sympathy of musical expression in human communication from infancy. It demonstrates how speaking and moving in rhythmic musical ways is the essential foundation for all forms of communication, even the most refined and technically elaborated, just as it is for parenting, good teaching, creative work in the arts, and therapy to help handicapped or emotionally distressed persons.

A landmark in the literature, Communicative Musicality is a valuable text for all those in the fields of developmental, educational, and music psychology, as well as those in the field of music therapy.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199588725
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/6/2010
  • Pages: 648
  • Sales rank: 1,344,086
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Malloch is Adjunct Fellow at MARCS Auditory Laboratories, University of Western Sydney and works in private practice, counselling and coaching individuals and organizations around communication and the exploration of meaning. Having initially studied performance and musicology at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Stephen completed his Masters at King's College, London, then went on to complete his PhD in music analysis and psychoacoustics at the University of Edinburgh. The theory of Communicative Musicality was born from research Stephen conducted on mother-infant communication during his post-doctoral fellowship in psychology at Edinburgh. On his return to Australia, Stephen focused on research into post-natal depression, music therapy and communication between infants. Complementing his study of psychology, Stephen has practised and taught Buddhist meditation and now combines these areas of expertise.
Colwyn Trevarthen, a New Zealander, is Professor (Emeritus) of Child Psychology and Psychobiology at the University of Edinburgh, where he has taught since 1971. He trained as a biologist, and has a PhD in psychobiology from Caltech. While a research fellow at the Center for Cognitive Studies at Harvard in the 1960s, he began research on infant communication that led to the discovery of the innate capacities for human intersubjective communication. His work at Edinburgh in the 1980s on the development of mother-infant interactions pioneered a theory of cultural learning. His published work covers neuropsychology, brain development, infant communication child learning, and emotional health and methods of education and therapy. He is interested in the natural motives and emotions children have for learning in companionship, the effects of disorders such as autism and depressive illness, and how parents and teachers may best support needs of young children.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. Musicality: communicating the vitality and interests of life, Stephen Malloch & Colwyn Trevarthen
Part 1 - The Origins and Psychobiology of Musicality
2. Root, leaf, blossom, or bole: concerning the origin and adaptive function of music, Ellen Dissanayake
3. Music and how we became human: a view from cognitive semiotics - exploring imaginative hypotheses, Per Aage Brandt
4. Ritual foundations of human uniqueness, Bjorn Merker
5. The evolution of music: theories, definitions and the nature of the evidence, Ian Cross & Iain Morley
6. Tau in musical expression, David N Lee & Benjamin Schogler
7. The neuroscience of emotion in music, Jaak Panksepp & Colwyn Trevarthen
8. Brain, music and musicality: inferences from neuroimaging, Robert Turner & Andreas A Ioannides
Part 2 - Musicality in Infancy
9. Infant rhythms: expressions of musical companionship, Katerina Mazokopaki & Giannis Kugiumutzakis
10. Voices of shared emotion and meaning: young infants and their mothers in Scotland and Japan, Niki Powers & Colwyn Trevarthen
11. 'Music' and the 'action song' in infant development: an interpretation, Patricia Eckerdal & Bjorn Merker
12. Early trios: patterns of sound and movement in the genesis of meaning between infants, Benjamin S Bradley
13. The effects of maternal depression on the 'musicality' of infant-directed speech and conversational engagement, Helen Marwick & Lynne Murray
14. The improvised musicality of belonging: repetition and variation in mother-infant vocal interaction, Maya Gratier & Gisele Apter-Danon
Part 3 - Musicality and Healing
15. Music for children in zones of conflict and post-conflict: a bio-psycho-social paradigm, Nigel Osborne
16. Between communicative musicality and collaborative musicing: a perspective from community music therapy, Mercedes Pavlicevic & Gary Ansdell
17. Supporting the development of mindfulness and meaning: clinical pathways in music therapy with a sexually abused child, Jacqueline Robarts
18. The human nature of dance: towards a theory of aesthetic community, Karen E Bond
19. Therapeutic dialogues in music: nurturing musicality of communication in children with autistic spectrum disorder and Rett syndrome, Tony Wigram & Cochavit Elefant
Part 4 - Musicality of Learning in Childhood
20. Musicality in talk and listening: a key element in classroom discourse as an environment for learning, Frederick Erickson
21. Spontaneity in the musicality and music learning of children, Nicholas Bannan & Sheila Woodward
22. Vitality in music and dance as basic existential experience: application in teaching music, Charlotte Frohlich
23. Intimacy and reciprocity in improvisatory musical performance: pedagogical lessons from adult artists and young children, Lori A Custodero
Part 5 - Musicality in Performance
24. Bodies swayed to music: the temporal arts as integral to ceremonial ritual, Ellen Dissanayake
25. Towards a chronobiology of music, Nigel Osborne
26. Musical communication: the body movements of performance, Jane Davidson & Stephen Malloch
27. Communicative musicality as creative participation: from early childhood to advanced performance, Helena Maria Rodrigues, Paulo Maria Rodrigues & Jorge Salgado Correia

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)