Is Music The Universal Language?

“Indifference to dissonance in native Amazonians reveals cultural variation in music perception” research photo
Courtesy of Josh McDermott
“Indifference to dissonance in native Amazonians reveals cultural variation in music perception” research photo
Courtesy of Josh McDermott

Is Music The Universal Language?

It’s been said that music is the universal language, but what make certain sounds musical and enjoyable?

In the past, researchers believed that preference for certain musical notes and chords was a biological phenomenon, but researchers out of MIT have found that some cultures have entirely different conceptions of what is musically pleasant.

Joshua McDermott, a professor Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, traveled into the Amazonian rainforest to see how the remote Tsimane people perceived music and discovered that it challenges the very basis of Western music.

The article with his findings, “Indifference to dissonance in native Amazonians reveals cultural variation in music perception,” appears in the Journal Nature.