Sam Mehr and Manvir Singh from Harvard’s Music Lab talk with us about their research suggesting that people across the world can detect the social purpose of other cultures’ songs based only on how they sound. Their open-access article, “Form and function in human song” was published in Current Biology on February 5th 2018. The article was co-authored with Hunter York, Luke Glowacki, and Max M. Krasnow.
- The Natural History of Song Project
- Demonstration of the first experiment
- Sam & Manvir on NPR’s Science Friday
- Alan Lomax’s The Global Jukebox
- Sandra Trehub at University of Toronto
- Headphone Screening Test
- Sam and Max’s 2017 article “Parent-offspring conflict and the evolution of infant-directed song” in Evolution and Human Behavior.
- “A Study Suggests That People Can Hear Universal Traits in Music” in The Atlantic
- “Can You Tell a Lullaby From a Love Song? Find Out Now” in New York Times
- “Where does music come from?” in Christian Science Monitor
- “Songs In The Key Of Humanity” in Harvard Gazette
- “Perhaps Music Really Is A Universal Language” in Pacific Standard
- “Music may be the food of love, but oddly, is not its language” in The Economist
- “Your Brain Knows What Songs Are For, No Matter Where They Came From” in Smithsonian Magazine
- “Music Really Is A Universal Language” in phys.org
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Hosts / Producers
Ryan Watkins & Doug Leigh
How to Cite
Watkins, R., Leigh, D., Mehr, S., & Singh, M.. (2018, February 20). Parsing Science – Universals in Songs. figshare. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.5915416.v2
What’s The Angle? by Shane Ivers