Christmas carols originated from human speech: Study

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Washington, Dec 25 (ANI): The notes of popular Christmas carols like "Jingle Bells" or "We Three Kings" have been borrowed from the sounds we make in everyday speech, reveals an acoustic researcher.

According to Dale Purves, director of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University, the notes in "Jingle Bells" resemble patterns in excited talking, while the notes in "We Three Kings" resembled patterns in subdued talking.

He said while speaking our vocal chords vibrate to produce a pitch.

By moving the lips and the throat, humans convert that pitch into an intricate pattern of many simultaneous sounds with different pitches.

Every vowel has a different pattern of sounds that allow a listener's ears to distinguish an "ah" from an "oo."

"Lots of people over the centuries have noted similarities between speech and music, but no one has compared the spectra of these two sound categories," Fox News quoted article author Dale Purves, director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University as saying.Then a person is excited, the pitch produced by the vocal chords increases.

Purves said this modifies the pattern of sound for each vowel to mathematical relationships that resemble many of the chords used in major scales and songs like "Happy Birthday."

In subdued speech, the pitch by the vocal chords drops, changing the vowel patterns to resemble "minor" chords, which is evident in carols such as "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." (ANI)

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