Sun, Dec 01, 2019 - Page 9 News List

Study reveals music’s universal patterns across societies worldwide
世界都唱同一首歌 研究揭露音樂共同特徵

Villagers play traditional musical instruments during an event celebrating National Paddy Day, also called Asar Pandra, that marks the commencement of rice crop planting in paddy fields as monsoon season arrives, in Dhading, Nepal, on June 30.
村民在一場活動中演奏傳統樂器,慶祝尼泊爾的國家稻田日,或稱Asar Pandra,代表隨著季風季節來臨,稻米種植在水田中的開始。六月三十日攝於尼泊爾達丁區。

Photo: Reuters
照片:路透

From love songs to dance tunes to lullabies, music made in disparate cultures worldwide displays certain universal patterns, according to a study by researchers who suggest a commonality in the way human minds create music.

The study, published on Nov. 21, focused on musical recordings and ethnographic records from 60 societies around the world including such diverse cultures as the Highland Scots in Scotland, Nyangatom nomads in Ethiopia, Mentawai rain forest dwellers in Indonesia, the Saramaka descendants of African slaves in Suriname and Aranda hunter-gatherers in Australia.

Music was broadly found to be associated with behaviors including infant care, dance, love, healing, weddings, funerals, warfare, processions and religious rituals. The researchers detected strong similarities in musical features across the various cultures, according to Samuel Mehr, a Harvard University research associate in psychology and the lead author of the study published in the journal Science. “The study gives credence to the idea that there is some sort of set of governing rules for how human minds produce music worldwide. And that’s something we could not really test until we had a lot of data about music from many different cultures,” Mehr said.

Penn State University anthropology professor Luke Glowacki, a study co-author, said many ethnomusicologists have believed that the features in a given piece of music are most heavily influenced by the culture from which the music originates. “We found something very different,” Glowacki said. “Instead of music being primarily shaped by the culture it is from, the social function of the piece of music influences its features much more strongly.”

“Dance songs sound a certain way around the world because they have a specific function. Lullabies around the world sound a certain way because they have a specific function. If music were entirely shaped by culture and not human psychology you wouldn’t expect these deep similarities to emerge in extremely diverse cultures,” Glowacki added.

Manvir Singh, a graduate student in Harvard’s department of human evolutionary biology and another study co-author, noted that lullabies tended to be slow and fluid across societies while dance songs tended to be fast, lively, rhythmic and pulsating.

The researchers examined hundreds of recordings from libraries and private collections globally. “The fact that a lullaby, healing song or dance song from the British Isles or anywhere else in the world has many musical features in common with the same kind of song from hunter-gatherers in Australia or horticulturalists in Africa is remarkable,” Glowacki said.

(Reuters)

研究發現,從情歌到舞曲,乃至於搖籃曲,從世界各地迥然相異的文化中誕生的音樂,呈現出某些特定的普遍型態。研究人員推測,人類心智創造音樂的方式可能有某種共通性。

十一月二十一日發表的這份研究,聚焦於來自世界上六十個不同社會的音樂錄音以及民族誌紀錄,涵蓋殊異的文化,包括蘇格蘭的高地蘇格蘭族群、衣索比亞的年加頓游牧民族、印尼明塔威群島上的雨林居民、蘇利南國內非洲黑奴後代的薩拉馬卡人,以狩獵採集為生的澳洲阿蘭達人等。

音樂被廣泛認為和人類行為相關,包括照顧嬰兒、跳舞、示愛、療癒、婚禮、喪禮、戰爭、列隊行進,以及宗教儀式。根據哈佛大學的心理學研究員山繆‧梅爾表示,研究人員查覺到音樂特徵中具有強烈的相似性,跨越不同文化的藩籬。該研究發表於期刊《科學》,梅爾為主要作者。他指出:「這份研究為一項論點提供了可信度,那就是某種像規則的一套東西,主導著世界各地人類心智創造音樂的方式。不過,直到我們從許多不同文化獲得大量跟音樂有關的資料之前,我們仍然無法真正驗證這個論點。」

賓州州立大學的人類學教授路克‧格洛瓦斯基是該研究的共同作者之一。他表示,許多民族音樂學家相信,特定一首音樂裡的特徵,受到該音樂起源地文化的影響最為重大。格洛瓦斯基說:「我們發現非常不同的結果。」他指出:「與其認為音樂主要受到它來自的文化所形塑,那首音樂的社會功能影響其特徵的程度更大。」

格洛瓦斯基補充說:「世界各地的舞曲聽起來有某種規律,是因為它們具備特定的功能。世界各地的搖籃曲聽起來有某種規律,也是因為它們具備特定的功能。如果音樂是完全受到文化形塑,而非人類心理,你就不會料想得到,這些深刻的相似性會浮現於極端多元的不同文化中。」

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