Statistical universals reveal the structures and functions of human music

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol/Iss. 112(29) National Academy of Sciences Washington, D.C Published In Pages: 8987-8992
By Savage, Patrick E., Brown, Steven, Sakai, Emi, Currie, Thomas E.


6 of the features coded (high register, loud volume, isochronous beat, dance, group performance, and percussion instruments) will be universally related to each other across world regions.


4 of the 6 predicted features (isochronous beat, dance accompaniment, group performance, and percussion instruments) were found to occur in a network along with 6 other features (motivic patterns, few durational values, phrase repetition, use of membranophones and idiophones, and syllabic singing) which were all significantly associated with at least one other feature in this group across all world regions.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Pagel's Coevolutionary MethodPartially supportedp < 0.05UNKNOWNUNKNOWN


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Musical FeaturesAssociationMusic