Warning message

This content is filtered. APPPAH membership is required for full access to journal articles.
-A +A
Publication Date: 
December, 1991
Page Count: 
Starting Page: 

This paper refers to the role of proto-rhythms in future musical acquisition as basis for the birth of musical intelligence and language expression. It also analyzes the role of rhythm in the very early vocal expressions of newborn babies and of the relation with expressions uttered between their 22nd and 24th months of age. The work presents transcriptions in musical symbols from the 1st cry up to the expressions of the year of life. Proto-rhythms are described and analyzed as well as their importance in back-feeding them. I insist on the fundamental function of proto-rhythms as observed in the earliest sounds uttered by a child-no matter where the child is born. Proto-rhythms are genetically planned and should be stimulated by the parents and mothers to be should also be encouraged to create lullabies for their unborn babies. In each case bonding and affection are of utmost importance. Proto-rhythms are not just sounds, they are the basis for future intonated language. Through mass media communication parents should be aware of their meaning to understand the babies expressions much better. Some of the proto-rhythms remain in the colloquial language of the adult and perhaps play the role of linguistic fossils.


Fridman, Ruth. Los Comienzos de la conducta musical (a). Editorial Paidós, 1974. Buenos Aires, Argentina. (A documentary record accompanies the book).

Fridman, Ruth. El Nacimiento de la Inteligencia Musical (b). Editorial Guadalupe. 1988. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Fridman, Ruth. 'Affective communication through the baby's sonorous expression in relation to mental health and future musical activity' (c). Paper read at the XI International Conference of the International Society for Music Education, Perth, Australia. 1974. Published by the Department of Music, University of Western Australia in challenges in Music Education. (94-97).

Mursell L. James. The Psychology of School Music Teaching. Silver Burdett and Company (1931) U.S.A.

Willems, Edgar. Las Bases Psicologicas de la Educatión Musical. Editorial Eudeba. 1961. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Shuter, Rosamund. The Psychology of Musical Ability. Butler and Tanner Ltd. 1968. London.

Fridman, Ruth and Battro, Antonio M. 'Vocal Rhythms in the Newborn'. 'The first day of life'. Etudos Cognitivos. Vol 2. No. 1. Junio de 1977. Unesp. I.I.C.S.E.-Araquara S.P. Brasil.

Fridman, Ruth. (1974). Los Comienzos. Ibid.

Condon, William S. and Sander, Louis W. 'Neonate movement is synchronized with adult speech; interactional participation and language acquisition' (1974). Science 183 (4120) 99-101.

Masland, Ruhard L. (1972). 'Some neurological processes underlying language' on Perspectives on Human Evolution No. 2. Ed. by Washburn and Dolhinow. 421-437. Berkeley. University of California, 1972.

Fry, D.B. "the development of the phonological system in the normal and the deaf child' in The Genesis of Language. Ed. Frank Smith and George A. Miller. 187-206. Cambridge, Mass. MITPRESS, 1966.

McNeill, David. 'Developmental psycholinguistics' in The Genesis of Language'. Edited by Frank Smith and George A. Miller. 1966. 15-84. Cambridge, Mass. MITPRESS.

Papousek, Hanus. 1976. 'Food Man and Society by Dwdin N. Walcher, Norman Kretchmer and Henry L. Barnett. 224-254. New York Plenum.

Fridman, Ruth. "Los Comienzos'. Ibid.

Chomsky, Noam. Cited work in Smith and Miller.

Fridman, Ruth. 'Mothers songs to their unborn baby', delivered at the XVIII conference of ISME. Camberra, Australia. 1988.