The Origins of Musicality

Henkjan Honing

“perspectives from other fields on the ability to understand, enjoy and create music.

According to research, everyone has a musical tendency, just as they do with language. Even if we can’t carry a song or think of ourselves as “unmusical,” all of us can sense and appreciate music. This book presents interdisciplinary viewpoints on how people might perceive, enjoy, and create music. Researchers from a variety of disciplines—including biology, musicology, neurology, genetics, computer science, anthropology, psychology, and more—examine the functions of music, why it is present in all human cultures, whether musicality is a trait that is unique to humans and the biological and cognitive processes that underlie it.

Contributors examine challenges in understanding the evolution of music, lay out a research agenda in musicality, and take into account guiding principles, limitations, and origins ideas. Discuss computer modeling of animal song and creativity; review musicality from a cross-cultural, cross-species, and cross-domain perspective; and provide a historical backdrop for the study of musicality. The book’s objectives include identifying the fundamental neurocognitive processes that underlie musicality (as well as practical methods for studying these in humans and nonhuman animals) and developing a technique for examining musical phenotypes that indicate the biological underpinnings of musicality.”