Montreal hipsters’ and Congolese pygmy tribe members react to some elements of music in the same way, according to a new study.
Forty Pygmies and 40 Canadians listened in pairs to 19 music excerpts (eight Pygmy and 11 Western instrumental excerpts) and were asked to rate the songs (arousing or calming, positive or negative.) Researchers found similarities in the answers of both groups.
The researchers conclude that while cultural learning is still important to how we respond to music, it also has the ability to trigger a basic, universal response in humans.
Images and music samples are available on demand.
Original research paper published in Frontiers in psychology on January 7, 2014.
Names and affiliations of selected authors
Stephen E. McAdams, McGill University, Quebec
Nathalie Fernando, University of Montréal, Quebec