Journal article

Music, Culture and the Evolution of the Human Mind: Looking Beyond Dichotomies

Dylan van der Schyff

Hellenic Journal of Music, Education, and Culture | Greek Association of Primary Music Education Teachers | Published : 2014


The origin of human musicality is often discussed within a dichotomous nature-or-culture framework. While most non-adaptationist views maintain this either/or perspective, recent developments in neuroscience and evolutionary theory are opening up ‘dual inheritance‘ models of music‘s origins. Many recent theories posit a shared evolutionary origin for music and language; and some have suggested that music played a crucial role in the emergence of the human mind and ‘cultural cognition‘. Indeed, growing evidence for music‘s deep roots in the most primordial areas of the brain – and of its effects on the plasticity of the neocortex – support strong connections between the emotional communicatio..

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