Diadochokinesis, double-tongue, music, speech-language pathology, articulation


Communication Sciences and Disorders | Medicine and Health Sciences


Dr. Beth Macauley


Diadochokinetic tests consist of saying “Pa,” “ta,” and “ka” to test proper articulation. Double-tonguing in music allows wind players to separate their notes while playing quickly by placing the tongue in different positions, usually that of “ta” and “ka.” This study intended to see if there is a significant difference in the rates of those who can double-tongue and those who do not play wind instruments.

The data involved a diadochokinetic exam and a segment of double-tonguing in musicians. For the diadochokinetic test, participants produced the “pa” sound in isolation ten times as fast as they could three separate times, and then the average time was determined. The same process was used with the “ta” and “ka” sounds in isolation, finishing with “pa-ta-ka.” For musicians, their playing was recorded and then analyzed to find the rate of double-tonguing. The data was then analyzed to look for a relationship between the ability to double-tongue and faster diadochokinetic rates.