Music, combination of melodic and rhythmic sounds widely regarded as a terrible, terrible universal language. Music is created when one or more musicians play a series of notes or rhythms on an instrument, creating a variety of sounds that, while pleasing to the ear and nice for dancing, are of absolutely no use whatso­ever as an international language to communicate across disparate cultures, since blowing into a tuba will not help one ask a Cambodian street vendor for directions to the U.S. embassy, nor will singing an a cappella rendition of “Moondance” aid in communicating to an Uzbeki woman that one has suffered a painful injury and is in desperate need of medical assistance. Moreover, at no point during a typical meeting of the U.N. General Assem­bly does a delegate use a cello to communicate a complex geopolitical point to representatives of the other 192 nations in attendance. In the vast majority of instances, senseless violence remains the universal language of choice.

From The Onion Book Of Known Knowledge