Tag Archives: Word of Mouth

Acquisitions and mergers

Buffeted by wind towards a parma-violet sky this morning, I reflected upon an environmental incongruity, as the Allemande from Bach’s French Suite No. 5 in G rang out from the harpsichord of Tom Koopman. Were I involved in a car share or public transport, this magic moment would not be happening.

A day’s teaching might normally have been sufficient to overwrite that memory had it not been for a particularly fascinating episode of Word of Mouth at 4:30 on Radio 4. Presenter Michael Rosen discussed:

Intrigued by both interviews, I did a little research at the end of my solo drive home, and was delighted to come across a huge (and freely available) body of work by Daniele Schön

I would be interested in finding research on the role of knowledge of a first instrument when learning a second. I think we’d all agree that in both music and language, learning two is not twice the work of one and that three is not thrice.

You can listen again until 16:30 on Tuesday 24th Dec.

Forensic Linguistics

Interested in language? Shouldn’t every teacher be? Got a spare 8 minutes? Ever wondered what Forensic Linguistics is all about? You can hear a very interesting interview from Radio 4’s Word of Mouth about how language (including texting style) can betray incongruities with the claimed age, gender, social class & native language of the user and how evidence for real life cases (much more serious than copying homework) was gathered. Dr. Tim Grant, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Linguistics at Aston University explains how here (until Tue 13th at 16:00).

Very similar skills and processes are used to determine the composer of an unidentified instrumental piece of music. Details of instrumentation, national style, harmonic & rhythmic language, division of octave etc. are often unconsciously processed, allowing the listener to pin down the historical period, country of origin and, in many cases, the individual musical signature(s).