The world is composed of multiple languages, cultures, races and religions, but among this diversity our eyes see, it is possible that the world is more united through our ears.
In fact Mihailo Antovic, a linguist and visiting researcher at Case Western Reserve University, proposes that our musical conceptualization brings together a world of different people.
He found the commonality among children of distinct ethnic backgrounds and languages in his home of Serbia, and he's now testing whether the same can be found among English-speaking, Serbian-speaking and seeing-impaired children in the U.S.
Antovic is currently conducting the study at Case Western Reserve with graduate student Austin Bennet.
"It will be interesting to compare the Serbian kids' results here in America to the results of those back in Serbia, as they have experienced different cultures," Antovic said.
He's also interested in how the results from the seeing-impaired children compare to the rest. "Seeing-children's responses are strongly based on the visual modality, which means their verbal responses seem to utilize some sort of reference to visual/spatial information."
Previously, in 2009, Antovic worked with native Serbian and Romani children (Gypsies, stereotyped as musical people) back home in Serbia, where he observed their ability to comprehend musical tones.
He compared three distinctly different types of people: children who were attending music school, native speakers of Serbian with no formal musical education, and native speakers of Romani with no formal musical education.
In the study, the subjects were exposed to "short musical sequences, which contain two strikingly opposing musical elements - a high and low tone, a soft and loud tone, a quick and slow succession of pitches, an ascending and descending scale, and a major and minor chord," Antovic said.
He then analyzed the ability of the children t
|Contact: Kevin Mayhood|
Case Western Reserve University