Music, Language, and Human Evolution

Music, Language, and Human Evolution

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  • Author: Nicholas Bannan
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • ISBN: 0199227349
  • Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 359

The accompanying DVD provides some glimpses of the practice of music in a variety of cultures and illustrates ways of listening to the human voice that reveal its intrinsic musicality. The DVD was edited by Pedro Espi-Sanchis, who recorded further material in South Africa.


The Singing Neanderthals

The Singing Neanderthals

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  • Author: Steven J. Mithen
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • ISBN: 9780674021921
  • Category : Music
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 390

An examination of our language instinct. Steven Mithen draws on a huge range of sources, from neurological case studies, through child psychology and the communication systems of non-human primates to the latest paleoarchaeological evidence.


A Million Years of Music

A Million Years of Music

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  • Author: Gary Tomlinson
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 1935408658
  • Category : Literary Criticism
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 367

What is the origin of music? In the last few decades this centuries-old puzzle has been reinvigorated by new archaeological evidence and developments in the fields of cognitive science, linguistics, and evolutionary theory. Starting at a period of human prehistory long before Homo sapiens or music existed, Tomlinson describes the incremental attainments that, by changing the communication and society of prehuman species, laid the foundation for musical behaviors in more recent times. He traces in Neandertals and early sapiens the accumulation and development of these capacities, and he details their coalescence into modern musical behavior across the last hundred millennia


The Prehistory of Music

The Prehistory of Music

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  • Author: Iain Morley
  • Publisher:
  • ISBN: 0199234086
  • Category : Music
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 464

This volume investigates the evolutionary origins of our musical abilities, the nature of music, and the earliest archaeological evidence for musical activities amongst our ancestors. It seeks to understand the relationship between our musical capabilities and the development of our social, emotional, and communicative abilities as a species.


Music, Evolution, and the Harmony of Souls

Music, Evolution, and the Harmony of Souls

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  • Author: Alan R. Harvey
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0198786859
  • Category : Music
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 321

Music is central to human cultural and intellectual experience. It is vitally important for the welfare of human society and - this book argues - should become more widely accepted in our community as a mainstream educational and therapeutic tool. This book explores the importance of music throughout human evolution, and its continued relevance to modern-day human society. Throughout, the emphasis is on the origin of music and how (and where) it is processed in our brains, exploring in detail the genetic and cultural evolution of modern, loquacious humans, how we may have evolved with unique neural and cognitive architecture, and why two complementary but distinct communication systems - language and music - remain a human universal. In addition the book explores, in some depth, the different theories that have been put forward to explain why musical communication was (and remains) advantageous to our species, with a particular emphasis on the role of music and dance in enhancing altruistic and prosocial behaviours. The author suggests that music, and the social harmonization it brings, was of vital importance in early humans as we became more and more individualized by the emergence of modern language and the modern mind, and the realization that we are mortal. Music, Evolution, and the Harmony of Souls demonstrates the evolutionary sociobiological importance of music as a driver of cooperative and interactive behaviour throughout human existence, and what this evolutionary imperative means to twenty-first century humanity and beyond, from social and medical/neurological perspectives


Harnessed

Harnessed

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  • Author: Mark Changizi
  • Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
  • ISBN: 1935618830
  • Category : Science
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 216

The scientific consensus is that our ability to understand human speech has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. After all, there are whole portions of the brain devoted to human speech. We learn to understand speech before we can even walk, and can seamlessly absorb enormous amounts of information simply by hearing it. Surely we evolved this capability over thousands of generations. Or did we? Portions of the human brain are also devoted to reading. Children learn to read at a very young age and can seamlessly absorb information even more quickly through reading than through hearing. We know that we didn't evolve to read because reading is only a few thousand years old. In Harnessed, cognitive scientist Mark Changizi demonstrates that human speech has been very specifically “designed" to harness the sounds of nature, sounds we've evolved over millions of years to readily understand. Long before humans evolved, mammals have learned to interpret the sounds of nature to understand both threats and opportunities. Our speech—regardless of language—is very clearly based on the sounds of nature. Even more fascinating, Changizi shows that music itself is based on natural sounds. Music—seemingly one of the most human of inventions—is literally built on sounds and patterns of sound that have existed since the beginning of time. From Library Journal: "Many scientists believe that the human brain's capacity for language is innate, that the brain is actually "hard-wired" for this higher-level functionality. But theoretical neurobiologist Changizi (director of human cognition, 2AI Labs; The Vision Revolution) brilliantly challenges this view, claiming that language (and music) are neither innate nor instinctual to the brain but evolved culturally to take advantage of what the most ancient aspect of our brain does best: process the sounds of nature ... it will certainly intrigue evolutionary biologists, linguists, and cultural anthropologists and is strongly recommended for libraries that have Changizi's previous book." From Forbes: “In his latest book, Harnessed, neuroscientist Mark Changizi manages to accomplish the extraordinary: he says something compellingly new about evolution.… Instead of tackling evolution from the usual position and become mired in the usual arguments, he focuses on one aspect of the larger story so central to who we are, it may very well overshadow all others except the origin of life itself: communication."


The Evolution of Language

The Evolution of Language

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  • Author: W. Tecumseh Fitch
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 113948706X
  • Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 625

Language, more than anything else, is what makes us human. It appears that no communication system of equivalent power exists elsewhere in the animal kingdom. Any normal human child will learn a language based on rather sparse data in the surrounding world, while even the brightest chimpanzee, exposed to the same environment, will not. Why not? How, and why, did language evolve in our species and not in others? Since Darwin's theory of evolution, questions about the origin of language have generated a rapidly-growing scientific literature, stretched across a number of disciplines, much of it directed at specialist audiences. The diversity of perspectives - from linguistics, anthropology, speech science, genetics, neuroscience and evolutionary biology - can be bewildering. Tecumseh Fitch cuts through this vast literature, bringing together its most important insights to explore one of the biggest unsolved puzzles of human history.


The Origins of Music

The Origins of Music

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  • Author: Nils L. Wallin
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 9780262731430
  • Category : Music
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 516

The book can be viewed as representing the birth of evolutionary biomusicology. 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


Music, evolution, and the harmony of souls

Music, evolution, and the harmony of souls

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  • Author: Alan R. Harvey
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0191090484
  • Category : Psychology
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 304

Music is central to human cultural and intellectual experience. It is vitally important for the welfare of human society and - this book argues - should become more widely accepted in our community as a mainstream educational and therapeutic tool. This book explores the importance of music throughout human evolution, and its continued relevance to modern-day human society. Throughout, the emphasis is on the origin of music and how (and where) it is processed in our brains, exploring in detail the genetic and cultural evolution of modern, loquacious humans, how we may have evolved with unique neural and cognitive architecture, and why two complementary but distinct communication systems - language and music - remain a human universal. In addition the book explores, in some depth, the different theories that have been put forward to explain why musical communication was (and remains) advantageous to our species, with a particular emphasis on the role of music and dance in enhancing altruistic and prosocial behaviours. The author suggests that music, and the social harmonization it brings, was of vital importance in early humans as we became more and more individualized by the emergence of modern language and the modern mind, and the realization that we are mortal. 'Music, Evolution, and the Harmony of Souls' demonstrates the evolutionary sociobiological importance of music as a driver of cooperative and interactive behaviour throughout human existence, and what this evolutionary imperative means to twenty-first century humanity and beyond, from social and medical/neurological perspectives


Why Only Us

Why Only Us

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  • Author: Robert C. Berwick
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 0262533499
  • Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 229

Berwick and Chomsky draw on recent developments in linguistic theory to offer an evolutionary account of language and humans' remarkable, species-specific ability to acquire it. “A loosely connected collection of four essays that will fascinate anyone interested in the extraordinary phenomenon of language.” —New York Review of Books We are born crying, but those cries signal the first stirring of language. Within a year or so, infants master the sound system of their language; a few years after that, they are engaging in conversations. This remarkable, species-specific ability to acquire any human language—“the language faculty”—raises important biological questions about language, including how it has evolved. This book by two distinguished scholars—a computer scientist and a linguist—addresses the enduring question of the evolution of language. Robert Berwick and Noam Chomsky explain that until recently the evolutionary question could not be properly posed, because we did not have a clear idea of how to define “language” and therefore what it was that had evolved. But since the Minimalist Program, developed by Chomsky and others, we know the key ingredients of language and can put together an account of the evolution of human language and what distinguishes us from all other animals. Berwick and Chomsky discuss the biolinguistic perspective on language, which views language as a particular object of the biological world; the computational efficiency of language as a system of thought and understanding; the tension between Darwin's idea of gradual change and our contemporary understanding about evolutionary change and language; and evidence from nonhuman animals, in particular vocal learning in songbirds.