Parkinsong: a study of singing in patients with Parkinson's Disease

Robert Harris, Bauke M. de Jong

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    Dysarthritic Parkinson speech is characterised by impairment of expressive linguistic prosody, even making it difficult to understand. While rigidity and bradykinesia can be held responsible for a general decline in speaking ability, the origin of prosodic impairment must be seen in the light of the accompanying impairments of receptive prosody such as the inability to recognize intonational meaning and make lexical distinctions based on stress contrasts . The stimulating effect of music on motor coordination in afflicted patients suggests that music might have a similar effect on vocal behavior. It could be hypothesized that the singing of Parkinson patients might remain relatively unaffected by the disease. In this study, vocal improvisation was used to compare the singing of Parkinson patients with that of healthy controls, matched for age and gender. When F0 , range, mean absolute slope, and tempo were contrasted, Parkinson patients did not differ significantly from controls.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • parkinson's disease
    • music
    • singing
    • speech
    • prosody


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