ISBN: 9780262344548 | 392 pp. | May 2018

The Origins of Musicality

Edited by Henkjan Honing
Foreword by W. Tecumseh Fitch

Research shows that all humans have a predisposition for music, just as they do for language. All of us can perceive and enjoy music, even if we can’t carry a tune and consider ourselves “unmusical.” This volume offers interdisciplinary perspectives on the capacity to perceive, appreciate, and make music. Scholars from biology, musicology, neurology, genetics, computer science, anthropology, psychology, and other fields consider what music is for and why every human culture has it; whether musicality is a uniquely human capacity; and what biological and cognitive mechanisms underlie it.

Contributors outline a research program in musicality, and discuss issues in studying the evolution of music; consider principles, constraints, and theories of origins; review musicality from cross-cultural, cross-species, and cross-domain perspectives; discuss the computational modeling of animal song and creativity; and offer a historical context for the study of musicality. The volume aims to identify the basic neurocognitive mechanisms that constitute musicality (and effective ways to study these in human and nonhuman animals) and to develop a method for analyzing musical phenotypes that point to the biological basis of musicality.

Jorge L. Armony, Judith Becker, Simon E. Fisher, W. Tecumseh Fitch,  Bruno Gingras, Jessica Grahn, Yuko Hattori, Marisa Hoeschele, Henkjan Honing, David Huron, Dieuwke Hupkes, Yukiko Kikuchi, Julia Kursell, Marie-Élaine Lagrois, Hugo Merchant, Björn Merker, Iain Morley, Aniruddh D. Patel, Isabelle Peretz, Martin Rohrmeier, Constance Scharff, Carel ten Cate, Laurel J. Trainor, Sandra E. Trehub, Peter Tyack, Dominique Vuvan, Geraint Wiggins, Willem Zuidema

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
  2. Preface
  3. 1. Musicality as an Upbeat to Music: Introduction and Research Agenda
  4. 2. Four Principles of Biomusicology
  5. 3. Five Fundamental Constraints on Theories of the Origins of Music
  6. 4. The Origins of Music: Auditory Scene Analysis, Evolution, and Culture in Musical Creation
  7. 5. Music as a Transformative Technology of the Mind: An Update
  8. 6. Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Music and Musicality
  9. 7. Searching for the Origins of Musicality across Species
  10. 8. Finding the Beat: A Neural Perspective across Humans and Nonhuman Primates
  11. 9. Neural Overlap in Processing Music and Speech
  12. 10. Defining the Biological Bases of Individual Differences in Musicality
  13. 11. Formal Models of Structure Building in Music, Language, and Animal Song
  14. 12. The Evolutionary Roots of Creativity: Mechanisms and Motivations
  15. 13. Affect Induction through Musical Sounds: An Ethological Perspective
  16. 14. Carl Stumpf and the Beginnings of Research in Musicality
  17. Contributors
  18. Index