Sydney Ideas

Sydney Ideas: Making sense - music and the human mind

Where
University of Sydney
Parramatta and City Roads, Camperdown NSW 2006
Law Foyer, Level 2 of Law School Building
When

Thursday 26 March from 6pm to 7:30pm

Could you tell what's a lullaby or dance song even if it was in another language? What does our response to music reveal about universality, cultural diversity and human cognition? 

Is music a cultural universal? That's the big question at the centre of a major project conceived by Harvard researcher Dr Samuel Mehr, a psychologist and trained musician. 

Mehr and an interdisciplinary team (musicians, data scientists, psychologists, linguists and political scientists) analysed vocal music from 300+ cultures stretching back over 100 years. These analyses lay out the building blocks of music across the breadth of human societies, revealing both universal features and patterns of variability in our culture.

What does this mean? In terms of mapping and understanding how people connect and communicate through music? Dr Mehr will explore key insights and implications from the project.

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