Presentation: The Evolution of Music
Musicologist Michael Spitzer follows his acclaimed book The Musical Human with an Unsound talk. Since music evolved millions of years ago in insects, birds and whales, it’s beyond doubt that it came before language, and is probably more fundamental to the development of our species. Spitzer’s talk will walk us through the evolution of music from its earliest beginnings in animal communication to Neanderthal song, the carving of the first bone flute and the spread of musical cultures throughout the world. He argues that music is fundamentally social and participatory, even if we generally consume it passively as listeners rather than as makers or performers. But what does the fact that most of us experience music in our own sonic bubbles say about music’s future?