Monday, November 21, 2022

Music: Is It The Universal Language?

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Behavior, Art & Environment, Anthropology

Ed Hessler

Many of us when asked would say that music is the universal language. This claim attracted the attention of former musician and developmental psychologist, Samuel Mehr who directs the Harvard Music Lab. What he really wondered was whether the claim was based on evidence?

Harvard cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker discusses Mehr's work during this discussion of the the large role of music in cultures around the world. Close to the beginning of the video Pinker states that the answer is yes. 

The short introduction beneath the video notes that there is "substantial evidence to say that music is the labyrinth that connects us all." Pinker was one of three mentors who served on Mehr's EdD committee in human development and education.

Pinker's short video (4 m 59 s) describes the research. 

Be sure to check the Mehr link above which includes a link to The Music Lab, his personal website and a Twitter feed. There are some fascinating short games to play as well. It is a rich and interesting site.

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