DEC Colloquium

Universal Features of Auditory and Music Perception: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Practical information
12 September 2023

ENS, Dussane, 29 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris


Music around the world is incredibly diverse, yet some musical features are widely shared. This raises a question: in what respects does music sound the same or different to people from different cultures? In this talk I will share the results of recent research with the Tsimane’, an indigenous Amazonian society in Bolivia who have limited exposure to Western music. This work suggests that there are several universal features of pitch and harmony perception that may constrain musical behavior around the world. It also highlights that a rich interplay between music and culture shapes aesthetic experiences of music.

The Cognitive Science Colloquium series is the most attended event of our department, hosting monthly talks by world-renowned experts in various fields of cognitive science, including neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, philosophy and anthropology.

Melinda McPherson