[ExI] Music

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Wed Aug 5 08:37:11 UTC 2020

Ben Zaiboc <ben at zaiboc.net> woote


> My main question, though, is What is it about? Why do we have music in
the first place? That to me is a complete mystery.

I think it is completely obvious.  Oliver Sacks reported decades ago
on a woman musician who had a stroke in the area directly opposite her
speech area and completely lost all her music skills (but nothing
else).  So we know where music is located in the brain.  The origin
was our obviously strongly selected speech abilities.  Bilateral
symmetry gave the brain an area that could control speech but was not
used for that and was available for something else, music.

There has probably been evolutionary selection to make humans better
singers, but these two factors are enough to account for the origin of
music in humans, a side effect of speech and bilateral symmetry.


PS now if it could just figure out how the traits for religion were
selected in the same events that selected traits for wars . . . .

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