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Universal Commonalities of All Music

Here is an interesting article that summaries research published in the most prominent scientific journal "Science." The researchers studied music from around the world, and despite all the differences, they discovered certain common elements that are found in the music of every culture. For example:

"Samuel Mehr at Harvard University found that all cultures studied make music, and use similar kinds of music in similar contexts, with consistent features in each case. For example, dance music is fast and rhythmic, and lullabies soft and slow -- all around the world. Furthermore, all cultures showed tonality: building up a small subset of notes from some base note, just as in the Western diatonic scale. Healing songs tend to use fewer notes, and more closely spaced, than love songs. These and other findings indicate that there are indeed universal properties of music that likely reflect deeper commonalities of human cognition -- a fundamental 'human musicality.' "

"Human musicality fundamentally rests on a small number of fixed pillars: hard-coded predispositions, afforded to us by the ancient physiological infrastructure of our shared biology. These 'musical pillars' are then 'seasoned' with the specifics of every individual culture, giving rise to the beautiful kaleidoscopic assortment that we find in world music."

Universal Features of Music Around the World


"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)


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Topic - Universal Commonalities of All Music - Amphissa 16:29:39 11/23/19 (1)

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