In a paper appearing in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA), Purves says that sad or happy speech can be categorized in major and minor intervals, just as music can.
“Our appreciation of music is a happy byproduct of the biological advantages of speech and our need to understand its emotional content,” Purves says.
“There is a strong biological basis to the aesthetics of sound,” says Dale Purves, a professor of neurobiology at Duke University. “Humans prefer tone combinations that are similar to those found in speech.”
I love it when science confirms what we know, intuitively, as spoken word performers. "Umm-hmmmmm. What he said. " read the entire article here: