Doowop Museum

The Indiana Rhythmic Speech Archive

Humans love to talk. And we love to:

  • sing
  • chant
  • recite
  • rap
  • pray aloud
  • declaim, etc.

Our goal is to document the human compulsion to talk with a pulse. (Yeah, the HUman comPULSion to TALK with a PULSE!) We notice that, given the slightest opportunity speakers of all languages (as far as we can tell) talk with an obvious rhythm to their speech. In order to understand these rhythms and their importance to human cognition and human linguistic behavior, we need to first listen carefully to them.

Internet tools have both advantages and disadvantages for this mission. Transmission may be slow, but it easy to jump from a preacher to giggling children playing games. We promise to keep our clips SHORT.

Our Museum has:


Short essays with audio buttons that play audio clips selected to make some point about rhythm.


A listing of our audio clips of speech of various kinds, organized into a typology.


which explains our notion of rhythm and meter, beats and phase. Read it whenever.
We recommend you begin with the page of Guided Tours.


The general editor and designer is Robert F. Port, assisted by Adam Leary with contributions from Fred Cummins, Cornelia Fales, Ilze Akerberg and Keiichi Tajima and, eventually, many others.


Copyright information is specified for each item where relevant. The webpage as a whole is copyrighted by Indiana University.

Robert Port,