Wired for music: The science of human musicality

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Donald A. Hodges, Professor Emeritus (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Music is at the very core of what it means to be a human being. To find music is to find human beings, and vice versa. Although some features of the natural soundscape (e.g., that which we call bird song or whale song) bear remarkable similarities to human music, nothing in any other species remotely compares to the richness, variety, and sheer amount of music that humans produce. Indeed, humans spend such an inordinate amount of time, money, and passion on music that it seems as if we are wired to be musical. And so we are. Both anthropological and neurological research support the conclusion that, for human beings, music is not a happy accident but rather an adaptive behavior that has provided significant survival benefits for our species over time. Although we may vary in our musicality, no human is bereft of musical sensitivity. Criteria such as gender, age, race, or socioeconomic status cannot by themselves prohibit any person from a meaningful experience with music.

Additional Information

ASTC Dimensions. July-August, 9-10
Language: English
Date: 2007
Human music, Survival benefits, Adaptive behavior, Ancient music, Music medicine

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