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Music: A kind of Language
Music is one of the human species’ distinct abilities among all other animals. Without formal training, any individual, from Stone Age cavemen to suburban children have the ability to recognize music and, to some extent, to make it. Why this should be so is really a riddle. After all, music isn’t a necessity for living through the days, and does not directly relate to reproduction of our human species.
While language has long been considered vital to unlocking the potential of human intelligence, music is generally treated as an evolutionary frippery — mere ‘auditory dessert’, as the Cambridge cognitive scientist Michael Porter puts it.
Musicologists have long emphasized that while the language of each culture stamps a special identity onto its music, music itself has its own universal properties. For instance, in virtually all cultures divided sound of music into 12 intervals that make up the melody scale — it is the scale formulated by the keys on the piano. From another perspective, observers have attributed this preference for this certain combination of tones to mathematical relationship of sound frequency. Greek Philosopher Pythagoras was the first to develop such model to explain the harmoniousness between two sounds: the link is a simple ratio that influenced music theory ever since.
The music-is-maths idea is often accompanied by the notion that music, mysteriously speaking, exists apart from the world in which it was created. The Greatest Hit in California Review of Books, pianist Dave Roland pointed out while painting and sculpture demonstrate at least some aspects of this natural world, music is relatively abstracted from the reality world we live. Another study conducted by Mark McArthur and George Shermil argued that animals don’t create and perceive music like the way human does–Even the laboratory monkeys can show recognition of human music tones (they shared the general features of human’s auditory system), they cannot develop further music ability at all.
Sarah Treebark, the Professor in university of Chicago, who has published a research paper in the Natural Science Magazine., said, ‘For babies, music and speech are tied together. Mothers use musical speech to regulate infants emotions. Regardless of what language they speak, the voice all mothers use with babies is somewhat like a mixture of speech and song,’
Music may be the ‘language’ we all speak.
Look at the following people (Question 21-26) and the list of statements below.
Match each person with the correct statement, A to F.
Correct 6 / 6 PointsIncorrect / 6 Points
–A List of viewpoints–
A. Human and monkeys have similar traits in sound identification.
B. Discover the foundation of mathematical music theory
C. Music exists outside of the world in which it is created.
D. Human needs music, even from childhood
E. Music shares common features though cultural difference influences.
F. Music is treated separately from language.
21. Sarah Treebark
23. Dave Roland
24. Greek Philosopher Pythagoras
25. Mark McArthur and George Shermil
26. Michael Porter