Why Do They Say Music Is a Universal Language?

Music is a universal language or musicians often claim that with music, you can communicate across cultural and linguistic boundaries in manners that you can’t. There are about 7,000 languages spoken in the world today so clearly, there’s a communication gap between cultures in the world. However, there’s one language that everyone understands regardless of what language you speak and that is music. We share the same emotions when we hear similar chords and melodies although we may not understand the lyrics of a particular foreign song.

Facial Gestures Are Universal

Various studies have shown that there are six emotions everybody can distinguish through facial expressions regardless of what culture you come from—regardless of whether they’ve had little contact with the world. This proposes that these emotions are based on the changing characteristics of the human body. These six emotions are happiness, anger, fear, sadness, disgust, and surprise. And that these basic emotions are consistent in all people across the world.

Certain Sounds Are Consistent Across Cultures

Different studies show that sounds of cry and laugh are likewise consistent between societies, even those that live in remote areas with little connection with the outside world.

A study conducted by Dr. Disa Saute to over 20000 people living on far edges of the world showed that not only that the facial expressions of the mentioned 6 emotions are identifiable but their vocalizations or sounds as well.

Music as a Universal Language

Music producer Hamed Wardak looks at music as being key to communication between various cultures and when he blends down the right beats, he is communicating a universal language.

  • Pitch, Rhythm, and Tempo Are a Part of Language

David Ludden, Ph. D. specifies that one explanation of why music is a universal language is that, similar parts that makeup music—pitch, tempo, and rhythm—are likewise present in daily speech regardless of what language you speak.

It is proposed that we comprehend the pitch, mood, and rhythm of speech because the same pattern is present in our language and all other languages. With these patterns present in the language, we can identify emotions from music using similar signs.

  • Musical Emotion Is Rooted in Chords

Tempo can also affect your emotions. You can interpret music as positive when you hear a major chord and you feel negative when you hear a minor chord. A moderate melody in a minor key makes you feel sad. A faster tune in a minor key may make you feel frightened or furious. According to researchers, major and minor chords have profoundly associated emotional meanings.

  • Music Draws Out the Same Physiological Response

A research was conducted wherein researchers measured heart rate, respiration, and other physiological factors to a group of participants who listen to short musical extracts. They discovered that the psychological response from each gathering showed up the same, regardless of whether the music calmed or energized them.