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The universal language

The ubiquity of the Internet on computers and mobile phones has made cross-cultural consumption substantially easy

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Suhit K Sen
Recent research has validated the old saying, articulated, among others, by H.W. Longfellow, that music is a universal language that knows no barriers of, well, language, ethnicity, creed, colour or faith. The research project was conducted by a number of US universities, including Harvard University and Pennsylvania State University. The findings were published in the US academic journal Science.

The research findings are significant because musicologists and scholars in related disciplines have questioned Longfellow’s view, expressed 184 years ago, that “music is the universal language of mankind”.

The research team studied 118 songs from 86 cultures, which were classified into
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First Published: Dec 28 2019 | 12:23 AM IST

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