According to my man Giambattista Vico, the first speech was a kind of singing. I’ve always believed that the most beautiful singing is deeply rooted in speaking, that the best singers sound like they’re talking right to you. At the same time, the best forms of speaking always have a musical lilt, which Frost called “the sound of sense,” tones rising and falling, which encode the bulk of meaning. But which is more primary, what we think of as speaking or what we think of as singing? I agree with Vico: singing.