Perception of musical pitch varies across cultures

Is the way we hear music biological or cultural?

Jean-Marc ZAORSKI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

People who are accustomed to listening to Western music, which is based on a system of notes organized in octaves, can usually perceive the similarity between notes that are same but played in different registers — say, high C and middle C.

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Why the community that sings together stays together

Singing is universal. It is found in all cultures and, despite protestations of tone deafness, the vast majority of people can sing.

Richard Atrero de Guzman/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), the movie about the British band Queen, the scene that sticks in my mind depicts the Live Aid concert in London in 1985.

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The surprising popularity of workplace choirs

It may be growing in popularity, but is there anything substantive to this new wellness trend?

The Ghent Altarpiece: Singing Angels by Jan van Eyck
  • Workplace choirs are becoming increasingly popular in the U.K. and USA, particularly in companies such as Boeing, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google.
  • Proponents tout choirs as a way to avoid employee burnout, and the research seems to suggest they're right.
  • Singing in choirs comes with a slew of psychosocial benefits that can make the workday a little more bearable.
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