Sadakata. M., Desain, P., Honing, H., Patel, A. D., & Iversen, J. R. (2004). A cross-cultural sutdy of the rhythm in English and Japanese popular music. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Musical Acousitcs (ISMA), 41-44. Nara.


The aim of this study is to investigate the linguistic impact on rhythm in music. It has been shown that the composer's native language exerts an influence on the music composed [10] using the normalized Pairwise Variability Index [5]. Our project aims at finding more evidence for the linguistic impact on musical rhythms in various kinds of music and language. In this study we apply the same index to analyze popular music with English and Japanese lyrics composed by Japanese composers to investigate an influence of the language of the lyrics on musical rhythm. Results showed a slight but significant tendency which supports the prediction that musical rhythm reflects certain aspects of the characteristics of the language of the lyrics.

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