O’Donnell Published in Science

In a study published in the journal Science, Tim O’Donnell together with an international team of researchers led by Sam Mehr at Harvard,  examined the universality of diversity of human song across societies. Amongst other results, the paper showed that all of the cultures studied used song in four similar behavioral contexts: dance, love, healing, and infant care. What’s more, no matter where in the world one goes, songs used in each of those ways were found to share certain musical features, including tone, pitch, and rhythm. The paper can be found below.

Universality and diversity in human song. Mehr SA, Singh M, Knox D, Ketter DM, Pickens-Jones D, Atwood S, Lucas C, Jacoby N, Egner AA, Hopkins EJ, Howard RM, Hartshorne JK, Jennings MV, Simson J, Bainbridge CM, Pinker S, O’Donnell TJ, Krasnow MM, Glowacki L. Science. 2019 Nov 22;366(6468). [Interactive figures]

The article has been covered in Le Monde, Reuters, Newsweek, Scientific American, Nature, The Wall Street Journal, El País, Forbes, Popular Science, The Times of London, Radio Nacional de España, Ha’aretz, Le Scienze, National Geographic, The Daily Star (India), CBC Radio (Canada), CBS News Radio, BBC Radio, Deutschlandfunk, Big Think, ABC Radio (Australia), Psychology Today, and other venues.

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