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Music ‘universals’ emerge in telephone game experiment

Music ‘universals’ emerge in telephone game experiment


1234 Scientists have long wondered why humans like music and why we’re so good at making it. Our love affair has deep roots even our closest primate cousins have been seen banging out riffs in the wild but what makes music… MUSIC? Scientists have identified 18 so-called music universals. Six of them are related to rhythm. They include: The universals came from 304 recordings of music around the world But do they hold up when people invent music from scratch? To find out scientists asked non-musicians to play a game of telephone. The first person tried to imitate random drumming noise from a computer. The second person tried to imitate the first. By the time the final person laid down their riffs something amazing happened. The random beats had transformed into easy-to-learn highly structured patterns that reflected all six universals. This, says scientists, might not explain why we like music. It might help explain how our brains are wired to produce it.

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