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Automatic comparison of human music, speech, and bird song suggests uniqueness of human scales

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Abstract
The uniqueness of human music relative to speech and animal song has been extensively debated, but rarely directly measured. We applied an automated scale analysis algorithm to a sample of 86 recordings of human music, human speech, and bird songs from around the world. We found that human music throughout the world uniquely emphasized scales with small-integer frequency ratios, particularly a perfect 5th (3:2 ratio), while human speech and bird song showed no clear evidence of consistent scale-like tunings. We speculate that the uniquely human tendency toward scales with small-integer ratios may relate to the evolution of synchronized group performance among humans.

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MLA
Kuroyanagi, Jiei, et al. “Automatic Comparison of Human Music, Speech, and Bird Song Suggests Uniqueness of Human Scales.” Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Folk Music Analysis (FMA 2019), edited by I Ali-MacLachlan and J Hockman, 2019, pp. 35–40.
APA
Kuroyanagi, J., Sato, S., Ho, M.-J., Chiba, G., Six, J., Pfordresher, P., … Savage, P. (2019). Automatic comparison of human music, speech, and bird song suggests uniqueness of human scales. In I. Ali-MacLachlan & J. Hockman (Eds.), Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Folk Music Analysis (FMA 2019) (pp. 35–40). Birmingham, UK.
Chicago author-date
Kuroyanagi, Jiei, Shoichiro Sato, Meng-Jou Ho, Gakuto Chiba, Joren Six, Peter Pfordresher, Adam Tierney, Shinya Fujii, and Patrick Savage. 2019. “Automatic Comparison of Human Music, Speech, and Bird Song Suggests Uniqueness of Human Scales.” In Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Folk Music Analysis (FMA 2019), edited by I Ali-MacLachlan and J Hockman, 35–40.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Kuroyanagi, Jiei, Shoichiro Sato, Meng-Jou Ho, Gakuto Chiba, Joren Six, Peter Pfordresher, Adam Tierney, Shinya Fujii, and Patrick Savage. 2019. “Automatic Comparison of Human Music, Speech, and Bird Song Suggests Uniqueness of Human Scales.” In Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Folk Music Analysis (FMA 2019), ed by. I Ali-MacLachlan and J Hockman, 35–40.
Vancouver
1.
Kuroyanagi J, Sato S, Ho M-J, Chiba G, Six J, Pfordresher P, et al. Automatic comparison of human music, speech, and bird song suggests uniqueness of human scales. In: Ali-MacLachlan I, Hockman J, editors. Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Folk Music Analysis (FMA 2019). 2019. p. 35–40.
IEEE
[1]
J. Kuroyanagi et al., “Automatic comparison of human music, speech, and bird song suggests uniqueness of human scales,” in Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Folk Music Analysis (FMA 2019), Birmingham, UK, 2019, pp. 35–40.
@inproceedings{8621733,
  abstract     = {The uniqueness of human music relative to speech and animal song has been extensively debated, but rarely directly measured. We applied an automated scale analysis algorithm to a sample of 86 recordings of human music, human speech, and bird songs from around the world. We found that human music throughout the world uniquely emphasized scales with small-integer frequency ratios, particularly a perfect 5th (3:2 ratio), while human speech and bird song showed no clear evidence of consistent scale-like tunings. We speculate that the uniquely human tendency toward scales with small-integer ratios may relate to the evolution of synchronized group performance among humans.},
  author       = {Kuroyanagi, Jiei and Sato, Shoichiro and Ho, Meng-Jou and Chiba, Gakuto and Six, Joren and Pfordresher, Peter and Tierney, Adam and Fujii, Shinya and Savage, Patrick},
  booktitle    = {Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Folk Music Analysis (FMA 2019)},
  editor       = {Ali-MacLachlan, I and Hockman, J},
  isbn         = {NA},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Birmingham, UK},
  pages        = {35--40},
  title        = {Automatic comparison of human music, speech, and bird song suggests uniqueness of human scales},
  url          = {http://fma2019.bcu.ac.uk/papers/FMA2019_paper_12.pdf},
  year         = {2019},
}