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Author Topic:   Evolution of Music Appreciation
Lokins
Junior Member (Idle past 3265 days)
Posts: 23
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Joined: 05-28-2009


Message 1 of 28 (510408)
05-31-2009 1:32 AM


Hi EvC,

I'm relatively new here, so I'm sorry if this topic has been seen before. But I have a question for all of you, that has been perplexing me for some time.

One of the things that I have an interest for is thinking of any human trait (very often psychological), and then wondering why that trait evolved to be the way it is. One trait that I've found it very hard to find an evolutionary explanation for is our appreciation for music. Why is it that it pleases us to listen to music?

Appreciation for music doesn't seem at first glance to be directly beneficial to our survival. One thing that my friend suggested is that it could be a sort of side-effect of another trait that we developed. I have trouble thinking of what this trait might be.

I'd be very interested to hear what you guys think!


Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Larni, posted 06-01-2009 10:41 AM Lokins has not yet responded
 Message 12 by Perdition, posted 06-01-2009 3:37 PM Lokins has responded
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 Message 26 by websnarf, posted 01-20-2010 10:29 PM Lokins has not yet responded

    
Lokins
Junior Member (Idle past 3265 days)
Posts: 23
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Joined: 05-28-2009


Message 5 of 28 (510454)
05-31-2009 11:46 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Dr Adequate
05-31-2009 5:33 AM


Sexual Selection?
Dr Adequate writes:

Try asking: how does it benefit your reproduction if you play music?

I actually thought of this too. I think what you're getting at is that it's a form of sexual selection? Those who play music will be more likely to reproduce because it attracts the opposite sex?

I would be able to believe that for people who play music. But still, why have we evolved to be attracted to music, and draw pleasure from it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-31-2009 5:33 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by RAZD, posted 05-31-2009 6:06 PM Lokins has not yet responded
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Lokins
Junior Member (Idle past 3265 days)
Posts: 23
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Joined: 05-28-2009


Message 8 of 28 (510524)
06-01-2009 1:27 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by AustinG
05-31-2009 11:38 PM


Re: Sexual Selection?
RAZD writes:

Consider that intelligence could be a side-effect of sexual selection for creativity in mating displays, dances and songs - and again compare the attractiveness of people to their apparent intelligence.

My psychology teacher (an avid evolutionary psychologist) also made this theory, and I find it very intriguing. When we students proposed the theory that we evolved intelligence because it helped us make tools, hunting strategies, etc., therefore increasing our chance of reproduction, he said this: "It doesn't take rocket scientists to make stone tools. We're rocket scientists."

AustinG writes:

This is a good thought; however it can lead to a chicken/egg argument. The opposite sex would first have to appreciate music before it would be beneficial as a mating ritual. You probably didn't mean it this, but I thought I would bring up the point.

That was the main problem I had with that theory, although it does make sense. You put it very eloquently, AustinG.

AustinG writes:

Does music appreciation have to be beneficial? It could be simply a nuetral trait that exists because nothing selected against it.

Wouldn't it have to have evolved for some reason, though? Come from somewhere?

AustinG writes:

If you want to theorize that music appreciation is beneficial in some way, you must start primitive...lets say with simple sounds. Are there sounds that a hunter-gatherer would benifit by being attracted to? The call of a mammoth? The sound of a deer? The coo of fowl? The symphony of a free-flowing streem? I think its reasonable to say an attraction to these noises would be beneficial to early humans. This is all that is needed for music; once early humans were able to construct primitive instruments, they could replicate the sounds they heard in nature.

Absolutely fascinating. Thank you for this, AustinG.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by AustinG, posted 05-31-2009 11:38 PM AustinG has responded

Replies to this message:
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Lokins
Junior Member (Idle past 3265 days)
Posts: 23
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Joined: 05-28-2009


Message 13 of 28 (510583)
06-01-2009 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Perdition
06-01-2009 3:37 PM


Re: Patterns
Very interesting, Perdition. I don't think that's exclusive to what AustinG was saying, either.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Perdition, posted 06-01-2009 3:37 PM Perdition has not yet responded

    
Lokins
Junior Member (Idle past 3265 days)
Posts: 23
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Joined: 05-28-2009


Message 15 of 28 (511942)
06-12-2009 11:34 PM


Dawkins
Hey guys,

If you're interested, I just found a video on youtube that directly addresses the question I've asked. It's an interview between Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker, an evolutionary psychologist:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIMReUsxTt4

The entire video is about an hour long, but they talk about music within the first 10 minutes. Enjoy!


    
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