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LINGUIST List 23.5013

Sat Dec 01 2012

Books: Music, Language, and Human Evolution: Bannan (Ed)

Editor for this issue: Danniella Hornby <daniellalinguistlist.org>

Date: 29-Nov-2012
From: Zach Borenstein <zach.borensteinoup.com>
Subject: Music, Language, and Human Evolution: Bannan (Ed)
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Title: Music, Language, and Human Evolution
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Book URL: http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Philosophy/Aesthetics/?view=usa&ci=9780199227341

Editor: Nicholas Bannan

Hardback: ISBN: 9780199227341 Pages: 400 Price: U.S. $ 150


Why do human beings make music? No human society has ever existed without
music, and people all around the world commit considerable resources,
including time, effort, and ingenuity, to musical participation and
consumption. Yet until recently archaeology has had little to say about the
possible role of music in human evolution. This book examines the potential
role of musicality in human evolution and its consequences for human culture.
Drawing on a growing body of research in archaeology, anthropology,
psychology, and musicology, it illustrates the inter-disciplinary necessity of
accounting for the phenomenon of human music-making.

Through twelve articles, the contributors to his volume build on Charles
Darwin's speculation that human language may have had its origins in forms of
vocal communication closer to the condition of music. Music and language are
both acquired by individuals, and thus transmitted over the generations as a
consequence of an evolved biology specially adapted for these purposes. The
authors of this book seek to illuminate the debate surrounding the precedence
of musicality over language in research influenced by Darwin's proposal,
critically examining the controversial philosophical, developmental, and
inter-cultural issues implied.

The accompanying CD 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.

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics

Written In: English (eng)

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