The wiki page on Speech-to-song illusion says:

Many composers, including Gesualdo, Monteverdi, and Mussorgsky, have argued that expressivity in music can be derived from inflections in speech, and they have included features of speech in their music.

I wonder in which ones of his works exactly Mussorgsky included features of human speech?

  • 2
    The wikipedia article cites the book Musical Illusions and Phantom Words: How Music and Speech Unlock Mysteries of the Brain by Diana Deutch. It appers to discuss Pictures at an Exhibition and the song cycle "The Nursery." Have you tried finding this book? Also, I don't have JSTOR access at the moment, but this article might discuss Mussorgsky; it certainly seems important to the history of the topic. Sep 20, 2021 at 13:48
  • I'd be curious what this author means when they say "features of speech." It seems to me so broad as to allow for a very obvious answer: Mussorgsky's operas, or any other work that includes voice. Another go-to may be the first of the "Songs and Dances of Death," which includes a dialogue between a grieving mother and Death.
    – Richard
    Sep 20, 2021 at 15:32
  • @Richard See the linked article; the context is about mapping musical pitches to imitate the inflection of spoken language, a la Steve Reich's Different Trains. Sep 20, 2021 at 16:17


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