Darwin Tunes was a project in the 2010’s. DarwinTunes was developed as a digital test-bed for the evolution of music, the oldest and most widespread form of culture; and, thanks to your participation, they have shown that reasonably complex and pleasing music can evolve purely under selection by listeners.
eMu welcomes collaborations with educational design and teacher education researchers around the world. There is a wealth of opportunity to develop innovative collaborations and novel learning environements in the themes of evolutionary musicology.
Rehfeldt, R. A., Tyndall, I., & Belisle, J. (2021). Music as a Cultural Inheritance System: A Contextual-Behavioral Model of Symbolism, Meaning, and the Value of Music. Behavior and Social Issues, 1-25.
Music is a pervasive cultural practice that has been present in ancient civilizations through to the present, yet its evolutionary signifcance has not been unequivocally determined. One position suggests that evolution favored music-related behaviors because such behaviors were linked to sexual selection and reproduction. A more recent perspective that is consistent with today’s evolutionary science framework suggests that music is a cultural-level adaptation because of the survival advantages it afords members of a community. This article explores the selection mechanisms responsible for the retention and transmission of music-related behaviors.
Rehfeldt, R. A., Tyndall, I., & Belisle, J. (2021). Music as a Cultural Inheritance System: A Contextual-Behavioral Model of Symbolism, Meaning, and the Value of Music. Behavior and Social Issues, 1-25. Read More »
Even those of us who can’t play a musical instrument or lack a sense of rhythm can perceive and enjoy music. Research shows that all humans possess the trait of musicality. We are a musical species—but are we the only musical species? Is our musical predisposition unique, like our linguistic ability? In The Evolving Animal Orchestra, Henkjan Honing embarks upon a quest to discover if humans share the trait of musicality with other animals.
The Global Jukebox is a cross-cultural and interactive database of music traditions. Listen to songs from everywhere on Earth. Whoever you are, wherever you are, these are the voices of our parents and Old Parents, with us as we journey into new worlds.
Savage, P. E., Loui, P., Tarr, B., Schachner, A., Glowacki, L., Mithen, S., & Fitch, W. T. (2021). Music as a coevolved system for social bonding. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 44.
Why do humans make music? Theories of the evolution of musicality have focused mainly on the value of music for specific adaptive contexts such as mate selection, parental care, coalition signaling, and group cohesion. Synthesizing and extending previous proposals, we argue that social bonding is an overarching function that unifies all of these theories, and that musicality enabled social bonding at larger scales than grooming and other bonding mechanisms available in ancestral primate societies.