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Study reveals music's universal patterns across societies worldwide

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From Reuters

From love songs to dance tunes to lullabies, music made in disparate cultures worldwide displays certain universal patterns, according to a study by researchers who suggest a commonality in the way human minds create music.

Penn State University anthropology professor Luke Glowacki, a study co-author, said many ethnomusicologists have believed that the features in a given piece of music are most heavily influenced by the culture from which the music originates.

“We found something very different,” Glowacki said. “Instead of music being primarily shaped by the culture it is from, the social function of the piece of music influences its features much more strongly.”

Read entire article at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-science-music/study-reveals-musics-universal-patterns-across-societies-worldwide-idUSKBN1XV2L6

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“Dance songs sound a certain way around the world because they have a specific function. Lullabies around the world sound a certain way because they have a specific function. If music were entirely shaped by culture and not human psychology you wouldn’t expect these deep similarities to emerge in extremely diverse cultures,” Glowacki added.

 

Music really IS the universal language. :) 

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<<“The fact that a lullaby, healing song or dance song from the British Isles or anywhere else in the world has many musical features in common with the same kind of song from hunter-gatherers in Australia or horticulturalists in Africa is remarkable,” Glowacki said. >>

Seriously? I don't think it's remarkable at all, because music speaks to biology, which all humans have in common. Language and societal norms are constructs, which is why Eskimos have a zillion different words for snow and Ethiopians don't. But they both have similar body chemistry.

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