Is music universal

Is Music Universal?

When people listen to music from other cultures, they often find it uncomfortable or less pleasant, or they may not “get it.” Most modern musicologists would say that this is because the way we make music and respond to it is learned, and therefore specific to our culture. Yet, many people, including noted composers, claim […]

Make Your Own Percussion Instruments

A few years back, while giving a presentation on homemade musical instruments at the University of Washington, Dr. Craig Woodson created a masenqo—a single stringed violin from Ethiopia—out of dental floss, a Styrofoam box, a plastic tube, and some chopsticks. “There was an Ethiopian woman in the audience, and she got up and walked out of the room,” he remembers. “I thought, oh my gosh, I’ve insulted this woman! But then she came back in and her eyes were wet with tears, and she said to me, ‘I had no idea when you started to play that very simple instrument, that it would take me home.’”