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Reaction to music is the same worldwide

People react the same way to the same piece of music, no matter what their cultural background, according to research by Canadian scientists.

Researchers enlisted 40 people from Montreal and 40 Pygmies from the Congo rainforest, Scientific American reports.

The two groups disagreed about whether a particular musical selection was happy or sad. But they all had similar levels of arousal, as measured by their psychophysiological responses.

These findings suggest that some aspects of how we react to music are universal, rather than strictly cultural. The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

The researchers believe the fundamental acoustical features including tempo, pitch and timbre are responsible for the similar responses.