What elements of music are universal? A team of researchers quantitatively explored this question, and their results have direct application to the discussions in Music as a Chariot. Their conclusion? "Music does appear to be tied to specific perceptual, cognitive, and affective faculties, including language (all societies put words to their songs) [see MAAC Chapter 7], motor control (people in all societies dance) [see MAAC chapters 5 & 6], auditory analysis (all musical systems have signatures of tonality) [see MAAC chapter 8], and aesthetics (their melodies and rhythms are balanced between monotony and chaos) [see MAAC chapter 9]. Special thanks to ever-alert Joe Pino for bringing this research to our attention!
Universality and diversity in human song
By Samuel A. Mehr, Manvir Singh, Dean Knox, Daniel M. Ketter, Daniel Pickens-Jones, S. Atwood, Christopher Lucas, Nori Jacoby, Alena A. Egner, Erin J. Hopkins, Rhea M. Howard, Joshua K. Hartshorne, Mariela V. Jennings, Jan Simson, Constance M. Bainbridge, Steven Pinker, Timothy J. O’Donnell, Max M. Krasnow, Luke Glowacki
Science22 Nov 2019