This presentation reports a study that is part of a longitudinal research project on mother-infant interaction during the first two years of life. 558 vocal exchanges between 15 mothers and their 3-month-old infants were tonally analysd in terms of harmonic series, pentatonic series and pitch imitations, and subsequently temporally analysed.
Infant-directed Speech (ID Speech) is considered an important factor in the temporal synchronisation between mothers and infants. Although ID Speech is described for many years as communicative musicality, a profound musical analysis has not been done yet. Moreover, ID Speech has mostly been observed separated from the vocalisations of the infant.
This study focuses on the relationship between the pitches of mother and infant. The analysis relied on a method of two professional musicians that trained themselves with the help of two frequency-analyze programs to an inter-rater reliability of 91,01 (Cohen's ?) with an extra controlling 12-member jury of professional musicians. Four hundred seventy interaction moments or almost 84% contained clear tonal aspects that will be demonstrated during the workshop. Within these Tonal Interaction Moments (TIMs) 2 categories were distinguished: (a) TIMs based on harmonic series (71,06%), (b) TIMs based on pentatonic series (28,94%). These TIMs often contained absolute and/or relative pitch/interval matches. The distribution of the total duration of tonal synchronised interaction moments for a dyad (M=89,37s, SD = 33.93s on a total length of 4min50seconds free play session) showed a normally distributed pattern (n = 15, z = 0.468, p = 0.981). The average duration of a tonal interaction was 3.714s (M=3.71, SD=2.44) ranging from 0.713s to 13.257s. The percentage of the interactions situated in a range of 1-10s was 96,67. This corresponds with the temporal architecture of Stern's (2004) concept of "the Present Moment".
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBAPS Annual Meeting 2009
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2009
EventFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 21 Sep 200925 Sep 2009

Publication series

NameBAPS Annual Meeting 2009


ConferenceFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet

    Research areas

  • Mother-infant interaction, Vocal interactions, Tonal synchrony, Communicative musicality, Infant-directed speech

ID: 1884841