Music Unites Across Cultures

Music can connect and unite, crossing all boundaries, cultures and countries – and maybe even planets. In the famous Spielberg movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” visitors from outer-space use music to communicate when they first meet Earth inhabitants. Listening to or performing the same music is a way of getting in sync with each other, no matter what language is spoken. Political and religious views can sometimes be set aside with music.

Music Evokes Similar Emotions in Different Languages

Classical and folk music are more likely to be known around the world than other styles of music. Classical instrumental music doesn’t need to be translated. Opera is often sung in Italian, Chanting may be in Hebrew or in languages spoken in India. When the music is powerful and beautiful, it doesn’t matter.
The words to the folk song “Frere Jacques” have been sung in many languages.
Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques
Dormez vous? Dormez vous?
Sonnes les matines, sonnez les matines,
Din, din, don. Din, din, don.

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping?
Brother John, Brother John,
Morning bells are ringing, morning bells are ringing
Ding Ding Dong, Ding Ding Dong.

Bruder Jakob, Bruder Jakob,
Schlafst du noch? Schlafst du noch?
Horst du nicht die Glocken, horst du nicht die Glocken?
Ding dang dong, ding dang dong.

Fra Martino, campanaro,
Dormi tu? Dormi tu?
Suona le campane, Suona le campane!
Din don dan, din don dan.

Martinillo, Martinillo,
¿Donde estas? ¿Donde estas?
Suenan las campanas, Suenan las campanas,
Ding dang dong, ding dang dong.

Vader Jacob, Vader Jacob,
Slaapt gij nog, slaapt gij nog,
Alle klokken luiden, Alle klokken luiden,
Bim, bam, bom, bim, bam, bom.

Music Connects us to the Universe

The ancient Greeks believed the planets made music as they traversed their heavenly orbits. Perhaps the Greeks had it right – we enjoy music because it reflects the workings of our minds as we’re tuned in to the rhythms of nature. The human brain loves to figure things out using patterns, and this mathematical formula connects us to the entire universe.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but music may be worth even more. Experience the different and beautiful sounds of music from around the world.
Listen to Frere Jacques at

Music is a language which the soul alone understands, but which the soul can never translate. – Arnold Bennett