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Offbeat A recent study reinforces the idea that music is universal

06:30  02 december  2019
06:30  02 december  2019 Source:   popsci.com

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A recent study reinforces the idea that music is universal . Whether it’s familiar or foreign, you’ll get the right feeling.

A new study published in Science breaks down how the purpose of music is universal across the world, despite the incredible variety Mehr started working on the project after he kept reading a trite line at the top of research papers that said, “ music is universal .” But every time he came across the

a group of people sitting around a fire hydrant: Across different countries, genres, and instruments, songs trumpet the same general messages.© Rav_/Pixabay Across different countries, genres, and instruments, songs trumpet the same general messages.

When you think of the songs of a faraway land or culture, what comes to mind? Is it something familiar, or something so unique from what you’re used to that you can barely guess what the music is about?

Turns out, your guess might be more educated than you think. Across cultures, we write different songs for different purposes, say, to start a religious procession, get your groove on, or hush a crying baby to sleep. But in the end, there’s more diversity within cultures than outside of them.

A new study published in Science breaks down how the purpose of music is universal across the world, despite the incredible variety within each cultural bubble.

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A recent study concluded that music can have a similar effect on people from completely different cultures. In the 19th century, American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called music “the universal language of mankind.” He had no idea how right he was – a recent study concluded that

Music really IS a universal language: People know what type of song they are hearing, no matter A Harvard-led study has found universal links between song form and vocals Participants listened to short song excerpts from cultures unfamiliar to them The planet is covered with a multitude of cultures so diverse that it 's no surprise that they

“Cultures all over the world have different kinds of music in each society, but what this means is when you zoom out, society’s musical behaviors are pretty similar,” says lead author Sam Mehr, a psychologist at Harvard.

Mehr started working on the project after he kept reading a trite line at the top of research papers that said, “music is universal.” But every time he came across the statement, there wasn’t a citation to back it up.

To see if there was any substance to this claim, he and his fellow researchers created two databases: one with descriptions from anthropologists of what happened when music from 60 was playing, and another of 118 audio recordings from 86 different societies.

He found that there were three characteristics of behavior that consistently characterized music: formality, arousal (or how calming or exciting a song was), and religiosity. Most societies had music that fell into more than one category.

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Considering those studies above, it’s very probable that ambient music has the potential to help improve your mood and productivity. However, for music to really improve your productivity at work, you’ll likely need to alternate between periods of no music and periods of different kinds of music .

They have been propounding theories about those collapsing stars millions of light years away. Great scientists like Albert Einstein in his 1915 theory of general relativity acknowledged the possibility of the black hole but doubted it would ever A Recent Study Reinforces the Idea That Music Is Universal .

Given those categories, both machines and foreign listeners were able to pick out a song’s purpose in further tests. The researchers investigated responses from community scientists across the globe, looking at how well they could identify the type of tune based on samples from an online quiz.

People did a decent job guessing the themes, especially for dance songs and lullabies, says author Manvir Singh, a Harvard Ph.D. student in the department of human evolutionary biology. “Music appears in this huge diversity of behavioral, social, emotional context in human societies,” Singh says, “but it does so similarly across societies.”

Daniel Levitin, a cognitive scientist who’s done similar research on music and evolution, believes this kind of systematic approach to understanding music is long overdue. He also says that the study points to an evolutionary history between music and humans.

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A Recent Study Reinforces the Idea That Music Is Universal . Whether it’s familiar or foreign, you’ll get the right feeling.

“Your spectral studies gave me one of the most beautiful moments I have experienced in physics.” There was one feature of the fine structure of the atomic spectra that still could not be interpreted: the anomalous Zeeman effect. A Recent Study Reinforces the Idea That Music Is Universal .

“The musical brain may have led to things that we take for granted in human nature, like compassion and empathy, because music uniquely can help us achieve those states,” Levitan explains. “Not to mention awe, appreciation, and gratitude.”

For Mehr and his team, the hunt for data is just the beginning. The lab is running more detailed quizzes to dig into how people respond to what they hear. They also hope to do studies on different populations like infants to see how they react to tunes like lullabies from faraway societies.

Singh says he also hopes to analyze lyrics and the way they shape people’s feelings and actions, even if it’s in a language they don’t understand. “Exploring the lyrics allows us to better understand how music can induce these emotional or behavioral responses,” says Singh, “but also, in a broader way, the world view of the people who are singing.”

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