Where does music come from?

I may not know where it comes from, but I’m certainly happy it IS here 🙂 Interesting article.

Every human culture, without exception as far as anyone can tell, produces some form of music. And yet it seems as though the music that human cultures produce could hardly be more varied: From Italian opera to Croatian klapa to Tuvan throat singing, the assortment of rhythms, melodies, dynamics, and harmonies found in cultures large and small around the world stands as a testament to human creative diversity.

Like language, music is universal among humans and nonexistent – or at least unintelligible to us – in even our closest nonhuman relatives. But music, unlike language, has no obvious adaptive function, prompting scientists who study music to wonder what forces originally gave rise to it. Is music an evolutionary adaptation, or is it purely a human invention?

It’s an old question, one that Charles Darwin took up in his 1871 book “The Descent of Man,” in which he suggested music might have evolved to help our species’ forebears woo potential mates. Others have argued that music evolved from coordinated territorial defense vocalizations, such as those observed in other social animals, including chimpanzees.

But many scholars, particularly ethnomusicologists, have been wary of this so-called adaptationist approach, which was heavy on thought-provoking explanations but light on hard evidence that links music with reproductive fitness. Musicality, according to one prevailing argument, is not a trait, but a technology, a happy result of pre-existing adaptations that, beautiful and uplifting as it may be, confers no evolutionary advantage.

Full Story @ Christian Science Monitor

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