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sometimes behave so strangely

Speaking of speech that sounds like music: The human fetus is regularly
exposed to the sound of its mother's voice. The sound is muffled -
amplitudes above about 500 Hz are reduced and hardly anything is audible
(for adult ears) above about 2000 Hz. This reduces intelligibility (for
adult ears) and makes the contour relatively more important than timbre
(for adult ears). In other words, the distance between speech and music
is reduced (for adult ears). What this might have to do with the origins
of music, we can only guess. An interesting reference:

Smith, S. L., Gerhardt, K. J., Griffiths, S. K., Huang, X., Abrams, R.
M. (2003). Intelligibility of sentences recorded from the uterus of a
pregnant ewe and from the fetal inner ear. Audiology & Neuro-Otology, 8,

Richard Parncutt
University of Graz