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The universal language of lullabies and dance songs

Poets proclaiming that music is a universal language may have just been proved right. NPR reports that, according to a new study, people can recognize certain types of songs no matter where they come from. Researchers collected examples of lullabies, dance songs, love songs, and healing songs from 30 different regions, and asked people unfamiliar with the language and culture to identify the purpose of the music. Listeners proved particularly good at recognizing the dance songs and lullabies, but were not quite as adept at identifying love songs or healing songs. Because these songs were made for a purpose—like putting a baby to sleep—researchers writing this month in Current Biology say they likely share common universal traits.

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