“Whether songs of love or dance, sung by Beyoncé or the Guarani people in Paraguay, nearly every society makes music of some kind. Music, many might say, is a universal language.
To see if that’s indeed the case, a team of researchers has performed what they say is the most systematic and comprehensive analysis of the world’s music to date.
“We’re starting to know what is essentially the building blocks of what music is and how music works,” said Sam Mehr, a cognitive scientist at Harvard University, who’s leading the project, which has been dubbed the Natural History of Song. These building blocks would imply a universal musical grammar — a basic structure on which all the world’s music stands…”