Music, it’s a universal art form, but are we all hardwired to find the same melodies beautiful?

Sure, I may love classical music and you may not, but are there certain elements that sound appealing to us all regardless of culture?

Image: Piano keys painted many different colors

Source: Pixabay

Up until recently, this question had only been answered theoretically. Even though all cultures have music, there was little research on our musical preferences, their universality, and if they are, indeed, hardwired.

A new study from MIT and Brandeis University is tackling this question with fascinating results…

The videos like this one that MIT produces, are truly great. Go check them out!

So, what can we learn from this that extends beyond the realms of music?

One of the biggest takeaways for me was the realization of how deeply rooted in western culture our assumptions about the world are. What makes me most excited for the future is how much there is out there to learn as the scientists and researchers start asking the bigger questions, and become more diverse.

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Each person brings a different set of questions and experience to the table. Each of us sees the world in a different way and asks different questions of the world around us. The more diverse science, art, politics, and education are, the more we can see how the power of perspectives coming together can lead us all to more insightful answers.

What more will we learn in the years to come as the questions, and the people asking those questions becomes more inclusive?

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


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  1. “Are Musical Tastes Cultural or Hardwired in the Brain?” YouTube. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 13 July 2016. Web. 15 July 2016. <>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV