"Stand by me"? —120 Researchers Debate Music's Evolutionary Origins—
October 13, 2021
An international team led by Associate Professor Patrick Savage of Keio University published a target article in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences on September 30, 2021, as part of a special feature involving 62 contributions from 120 researchers. The team synthesized evidence from musicology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, anthropology, archeology, and psychology to provide a "social bonding" hypothesis that explains how the biological capacity to make music arose through gene-culture coevolution by helping individuals to bond in large groups. 109 experts weighed in on this hypothesis and an alternative "credible signaling" hypothesis led by Harvard psychologists. This research represents a model for productive interdisciplinary debate about big questions in human evolutionary history combining the sciences and humanities.
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