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Can You Tell a Lullaby From a Love Song?

This article was first published in the New York Times on 25 Jan 2018. Written by Alex Marshall. A new study suggests that some types of song are universal, recognizable by people across all cultures. But not everyone is convinced. The world’s music cultures are meant to be unique. A Rwandan farmer’s lovesick song is not supposed to have much in common with that of a similarly lovesick farmer in the Scottish Highlands. But a group of Harvard scientists is trying to find out whether that is really the case, or whether there are actually universal features underpinning all our songs, in a project called The Natural History of Song.“We’re interested in getting a sense of what’s the same, and wh

 
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