The effects of maternal depression on the 'musicality' of infant directed speech and conversational engagement

Helen M. Marwick, L. Murray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunicative musicality
Subtitle of host publicationexploring the basis of human companionship
EditorsStephen Malloch, Colwyn Trevarthen
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780199588725
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2010


  • maternal depression
  • brain science
  • musicality
  • infant directed speech
  • acoustics
  • human evolution

Cite this