Well, here’s my two contrarian cents worth on talking and singing, from an amateur.
Imagine returning to prehistoric times, well before sophisticated languages with consonants and vowels, where all kinds of apelike sounds were being made by man, and suddenly a human starts to sing melodies. Must have been quite enchanting. Soon, I’m sure there were lots of singers. Yes, singing before rhyming, singing before sophisticated words, singing before full lyrics development, singing before Western sets of sounds, singing before Eastern sets of sounds, singing before prehistoric civilization’s sets of sounds. You get the idea. Just like prehistoric art found in caves were drawn before anyone knew how to manufacture a canvas for art, so singing was sung before a single song was written. Before any set languages were established between tribes. Lullabies were sung likely before words were formalized.
So, we can see how singing is more ancient than, and likely more fundamental than speaking. That is, speaking is a limited form of singing. If one can sing properly, one’s speech is a restrictive form.
The question, in my opinion, is not how is it speech and singing are different; the question should be, how is it speech resulted from singing, to the extent that natural singing is lost. And the next question is, how is it possible to recover this natural singing?
How we learn speech, and not how we lost singing, is more researched, so let’s start there. We know a baby has more sounds than the modern language he speaks has, and we know that over time, he loses many of these sounds. He practices talking and learns to express his thoughts, his desires, his feelings, his fears through talking, and as he gets older, he finesses more of these, and loses more innate sounds. He stores body tensions, and then sublimates certain sounds and lose others. Over time, he loses his singing voice and acquires a different set of skills for his talking voice. Yes, he with society placed limits on his innate sounds and became worse and worse as a singer.
So, no singing and talking arise from the same skills with talking a more restrictive form with a great deal of finesse built up. Singing is lost due to societal pressures, tension, and lack of practice.
Can they be the same? Yes, because talking can utilize the resonance, timing, rhyming skills that singing teaches.
Is there evidence on the above? I know of anecdotal ones: Elvis, Judy Garland, and Pavarotti. Judy came from a family of vaudeville entertainers and was performing as a child. Pavarotti was a singing instructor’s son who earned money as a child from singing. Elvis, if I recall correctly, was praised for his early childhood singing. It’s not because they had the best hereditary voice– it’s because they did not lose their innate voice. Tiger Woods was not the best athletically gifted golfer, but he had parents who provided him an environment, such that he did not lose his innate golf-suited skills.
Having said all this mumbo jumbo–what does this have to do with speaking and singing, giving the evidence of the above study.
1. Unless a singer has half a brain, the study makes no difference. And as we see from above, one’s potential is far greater than one’s current skill set, and the objective is to restore one’s innate skills.