Universal Language, A Photograph

“Music is the universal language of mankind.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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4 thoughts on “Universal Language, A Photograph

  1. From wikipedia’s article on Steven Pinker as of today. I’ve been reading a few articles by him but had not the chance to read any of his books:

    «In How the Mind Works, Pinker reiterates Immanuel Kant’s view that music is not in itself an important cognitive phenomenon, but that it happens to stimulate important auditory and spatio-motoric cognitive functions. Pinker compares music to “auditory cheesecake”, stating that “As far as biological cause and effect is concerned, music is useless”. This argument has been rejected by Daniel Levitin and Joseph Carroll, experts in music cognition, who argue that music has had an important role in the evolution of human cognition. In his book This Is Your Brain On Music, Levitin argues that music could provide adaptive advantage through sexual selection, social bonding, and cognitive development; he questions the assumption that music is the anteced, ent to language, as opposed to its progenitor, noting that many species display music-like habits that could be seen as precursors to human music.»

    For me the pure act of walking is musical, it’s probably the primordial percussion–double beats. So the clapping of hands or slapping body parts Them in nature we find the wind, the various sounds of water, the mating songs of animals.

    As for the photo, it’s lovely of course but I think I must confess being biased towards violins…

    • I agree with Levin and Carrol and with that, the importance of music right up until our own deaths

      “Aristotle and Plato wrote about their beliefs in the healing power of music. During medieval times, a tradition of monastic chant for the sick developed. The Benedictine Order, which embraced communal living, supported their sick or dying community members through formal musical rituals.”

      I think you may enjoy the linked article.
      http://www.growthhouse.org/music.html

      • Thank you for the link to the article. It’s marvelous to know that we can provide even a better atmosphere for those who are in their death beds. And now I know that I must rethink the music I want to be played at my funeral to something more upbeat for it is to affect the living not me 😉

        Generating positive emotions seems to be crucial for those who are hospitalized. I’m thinking of current techniques as the use of dogs to lighten up the day of the patients, or even clowns (not as scary as that of McDonalds of course…)

        This subject in turn makes me think of laughter schools, to help persons who are stressed for various reasons or whose professions are stress inducing by their own nature.

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