I was listening to “world music” in the car and it struck me that while I don’t understand the lyrics, I’m still able to make an emotional connection to the vocals. The message isn’t the lyrics, the message is the emotions. It works the same way for me with subtitled movies. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything because I can read the subtitles while hearing the emotions in the voices. Anger is anger, regardless of the language you use to talk about your anger.
Many years ago, I was taught that music and language are processed in different parts of the brain and therefore aren’t closely related, but even a cursory scan of current online materials tells me this is probably outdated thinking.
So my questions for the linguists here is do you have a recommendation for where I could find the best current thinking on the subject of the relationships between music and language? Is there someone known to be the leader in this area?