What is the evolutionary basis of music?

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David Kahn

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What is the evolutionary basis of music?
« on: 02/09/2008 18:23:59 »
David Kahn  asked the Naked Scientists:

Naked Scientists,

Where do you think musical genius comes from from an evolutionary standpoint? How could that have benefited our prehistoric ancestors?
 
Cheers,
Dave

What do you think?

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blakestyger

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What is the evolutionary basis of music?
« Reply #1 on: 02/09/2008 18:38:42 »
This isn't an answer per se but it is interesting to ponder whether everything necessarily has to have an evolutionary advantage.

Hunter-gatherers (unlike agriculturalists) had plenty of time on their hands to do other things - some modern studies suggest that Bushmen only hunted for 40% of the time.

This would leave time for such things as music making and story telling - things that don't impact upon basic survival. Evolutionary advantage may not be a factor; though we know that the good singers/story tellers tend to be more attractive to/popular with the opposite sex.