How did music evolve?

A recent journal article on the evolution of music provides an excellent summary on the dominant theories of how music evolved, and updated references to the basic arguments in favor of each theory. The lay summary may be found here:, while the journal article appears here: Perhaps the most germaine discussion related to these theories relates back to a musically agreed upon definition of music itself (see Chapter 4). As is the case with so many evolutionary theories discussed in this book, ours is not to settle these questions, but to survey them in order to better understand the many factors that have evolved in our evolution that have possibly influenced our particular prediction to music today, and how we as artists use these factors to manipulate our audiences.

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