Just how 'universal' is music? That seems to be a very broad question, but here

Just how 'universal' is music? That seems to be a very broad question, but here

Just how 'universal' is music? That seems to be a very broad question, but here's some background to clarify: In the past, there have been many different ways of creating music. The only real standard of pitch is the octave, which is two notes exactly one half or twice the others' frequency. Between that, there have been tons of different ways of dividing the octave (12-tone, just intonation, 19 tone, 31 tone, pitch bending etc.) which obviously resulted in some very different types of music. When I listen to Armenian duduk music, for example, it all sounds very similar to me, a combination of familiar western music scales and modes with slightly bent pitches. I presume that they have many different types of music within their own culture, as we do in the west, and as every culture probably does. So, would our music sound similar to someone unfamiliar with it, as a person from a small Asian or African village that had its own, old and untainted musical tradition. Would they be able to distinguish between a jazzy piece and a baroque dance played on the same instrument? I realize that this sounds ridiculous (of COURSE they would sound different, right?) but I have to remind myself that I have an absolutely limited and biased perspective, as I have grown up completely within the envelope of European tradition music. I don't look for an answer necessarily from someone who grew up somewhere different, but from someone who can speculate about the degree to which perspective changes perception.

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