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Music General

The Origins of Music

edited by Nils L. Wallin, Bjorn Merker & Steven Brown

MIT Press
Initial publish date
Jul 2001
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2001
    List Price

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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.

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

About the authors

Nils L. Wallin is Director of the Institute for Biomusicology at Mid Sweden University, Östersund.

Nils L. Wallin's profile page

Bjö rn Merker is Senior Fellow at the Institute for Biomusicology at Mid Sweden University, ö stersund.

Bjorn Merker's profile page

Steven C. Brown is former associate curator of Native American art at the Seattle Art Museum. He is the author of Native Visions: Evolution in Northwest Coast Art from the Eighteenth through the Twentieth Century and Sun Dogs and Eagle Down: The Indian Paintings of Bill Holm.

Steven Brown's profile page

Other titles by Steven Brown