Universality and diversity in human song

Science Vol/Iss. 366(6468) American Association for the Advancement of Science Washington, D.C. Published In Pages: eaax0868
By Mehr, Samuel A., Singh, Manvir, Knox, Dean, Ketter, Daniel M., Pickens-Jones, Daniel, Atwood, S., Lucas, Christopher, Jacoby, Nori, Egner, Alena A., Hopkins, Erin J., Howard, Rhea M., Hartshorne, Joshua K., Jennings, Mariela V., Simson, Jan, Bainbridge, Constance M., Pinker, Steven, O’Donnell, Timothy J., Krasnow, Max M., Glowacki, Luke


The acoustic properties of a song are positively correlated to behavior contexts cross-culturally.


Listeners identified dance songs most accurately (54.4%), followed by lullabies (45.6%), healing songs (43.3%), and love songs (26.2%), all significantly above chance. The features of songs themselves were recorded in a table (2) within the body of the paper with each coefficient for the pairwise combinations reported there as well.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
UNKNOWNSupportedp <.001(see table)UNKNOWN