The Origins of Music


What biological and cognitive forces have shaped humankind's musical behavior and the rich global repertoire of musical structures? What is music for, and why does every human culture have it? What are the universal features of music and musical behavior across cultures? In this groundbreaking book, musicologists, biologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, psychologists, neuroscientists, ethologists, and linguists come together for the first time to examine these and related issues. The book can be viewed as representing the birth of evolutionary biomusicology—the study of which will contribute greatly to our understanding of the evolutionary precursors of human music, the evolution of the hominid vocal tract, localization of brain function, the structure of acoustic-communication signals, symbolic gesture, emotional manipulation through sound, self-expression, creativity, the human affinity for the spiritual, and the human attachment to music itself.

Contributors: Simha Arom, Derek Bickerton, Steven Brown, Ellen Dissanayake, Dean Falk, David W. Frayer, Walter Freeman, Thomas Geissmann, Marc D. Hauser, Michel Imberty, Harry Jerison, Drago Kunej, François-Bernard Mâche, Peter Marler, Björn Merker, Geoffrey Miller, Jean Molino, Bruno Nettl, Chris Nicolay, Katharine Payne, Bruce Richman, Peter J.B. Slater, Peter Todd, Sandra Trehub, Ivan Turk, Maria Ujhelyi, Nils L. Wallin, Carol Whaling.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Contributors
  3. I. The Beginning
  4. 1. An Introduction to Evolutionary Musicology

    Steven Brown, Björn Merker and Nils L. Wallin

  5. 2. Prolegomena to a Biomusicology

    Simha Arom

  6. 3. Origins of Music and Speech: Insights from Animals

    Peter Marler

  7. 4. Birdsong Repertoires: Their Origins and Use

    Peter J. B. Slater

  8. 5. What's Behind a Song? The Neural Basis of Song Learning in Birds

    Carol Whaling

  9. 6. The Sound and the Fury: Primate Vocalizations as Reflections of Emotion and Thought

    Marc D. Hauser

  10. 7. Gibbon Songs and Human Music from an Evolutionary Perspective

    Thomas Geissmann

  11. 8. Social Organization as a Factor in the Origins of Language and Music

    Maria Ujhelyi

  12. 9. The Progressively Changing Songs of Humpback Whales: A Window on the Creative Process in a Wild Animal

    Katharine Payne

  13. III. Music, Language, and Human Evolution
  14. 10. Can Biomusicology Learn from Language Evolution Studies?

    Derek Bickerton

  15. 11. Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Music and Language

    Jean Molino

  16. 12. Paleoneurology and the Biology of Music

    Harry Jerison

  17. 13. Hominid Brain Evolution and the Origins of Music

    Dean Falk

  18. 14. Fossil Evidence for the Origin of Speech Sounds

    David W. Frayer and Chris Nicolay

  19. 15. New Perspectives on the Beginnings of Music: Archeological and Musicological Analysis of a Middle Paleolithic Bone "Flute"

    Drago Kunej and Ivan Turk

  20. 16. The "Musilanguage" Model of Music Evolution

    Steven Brown

  21. 17. How Music Fixed "Nonsense" into Significant Formulas: On Rhythm, Repetition, and Meaning

    Bruce Richman

  22. 18. Synchronous Chorusing and Human Origins

    Björn Merker

  23. 19. Evolution of Human Music through Sexual Selection

    Geoffrey Miller

  24. 20. Simulating the Evolution of Musical Behavior

    Peter Todd

  25. 21. Antecedents of the Temporal Arts in Early Mother-Infant Interaction

    Ellen Dissanayake

  26. 22. A Neurobiological Role of Music in Social Bonding

    Walter Freeman

  27. 23. Human Processing Predispositions and Musical Universals

    Sandra Trehub

  28. 24. The Question of Innate Competencies in Musical Communication

    Michel Imberty

  29. 25. An Ethnomusicologist Contemplates Universals in Musical Sound and Musical Culture

    Bruno Nettl

  30. 26. The Necessity of and Problems with a Universal Musicology

    François-Bernard Mâche

  31. VI. The End of the Beginning
  32. 27. Listening to Music
  33. Author Index
  34. Subject Index