From Pygmies to hipsters: Music has no cultural boundaries
A new study has recently revealed that music cuts across cultures as it can make people from different ethnicity, like from Pygmies to hipsters , feel similarly excited or calm.
Washington: A new study has recently revealed that music cuts across cultures as it can make people from different ethnicity, like from Pygmies to hipsters , feel similarly excited or calm.
A team of researchers from McGill University, Technische Universitat Berlin, and l'Universite de Montreal arrived at the conclusion that certain aspects of our reactions to music are universal, after travelling deep into the rainforest to play music to a very isolated group of people, the Mbenzele Pygmies, who live without access to radio, television or electricity.
They then compared how the Mbenzele responded both to their own and to unfamiliar Western music, with the way that a group of Canadians (in not-so-remote downtown Montreal) responded to the same pieces.
The researchers explained that although the groups felt quite differently about whether specific pieces of music made them feel good or bad, their subjective and physiological responses to how exciting or calming they found the music to be appeared to be universal.
The main difference between Pygmy and Canadian listeners was that the Canadians described themselves as feeling a much wider range of emotions as they listened to the Western music than the Pygmies felt when listening to either their own or Western music. This was probably attributable to the varying roles that music plays in each culture.
Nathalie Fernando of l'Universite de Montreal's Faculty of Music said that negative emotions disturb the harmony of the forest in Pygmy culture and are therefore dangerous.
The study is published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology.