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February 19, 2018 Monday 11:54:51 AM IST

Music traditions of the world carry the same “genes”

International Policy

19th February, 2018: In a report published recently in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of United States of America based on the study due to the researchers of University of Vienna, Austria, music in different parts of the world carry certain common signatures and patterns, making it a universal language of communication.

The research could not identify any absolute universals in different music traditions round the world. However, they could identify many statistical universals in them. They identified 18 musical features that are common individually as well as a network of 10 features that are commonly associated with one another. These include not only features like those related to pitch and rhythm, but also the common purpose of making music, namely the group coordination, which often defines the performance style and social context.

This, according to the researchers, justifies the universal tendency to sing, play percussion instruments, and dance to simple, repetitive music in groups.


“My daughter and I were singing and drumming and dancing together for months before she even said her first words. Music is not a universal language... music lets us connect without language,” said Pat Savage, the lead author of the study.

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