March 19, 2009
Recognition Of Emotions In Music Seen As Innate Skill

We are wired up to recognize certain types of music as expressing particular human emotions.

Native African people who have never even listened to the radio before can nonetheless pick up on happy, sad, and fearful emotions in Western music, according to a new report published online on March 19th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. The result shows that the expression of those three basic emotions in music can be universally recognized, the researchers said.

"These findings could explain why Western music has been so successful in global music distribution, even in music cultures that do not as strongly emphasize the role of emotional expression in their music," said Thomas Fritz of the Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences.

The expression of emotions is a basic feature of Western music, and the capacity of music to convey emotional expressions is often regarded as a prerequisite to its appreciation in Western cultures, the researchers explained. In other musical traditions, however, music is often appreciated for other qualities, such as group coordination in rituals.

You've got the music in you.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 March 19 11:14 PM  Brain Innate


Comments
th said at March 21, 2009 4:24 PM:

"Native African people who have never even listened to the radio before can nonetheless pick up on happy, sad, and fearful emotions in Western music"

Interesting, since its nothing more than hyenas screaming.

philw1776 said at March 22, 2009 10:58 AM:

Maybe we could even use music to let's say program in the FTL coordinates and find an Earthlike planet?

Randall Parker said at March 22, 2009 11:20 AM:

philw1776,

If you've got an FTL drive I'm ready to program it with All Along The Watchtower.

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