Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Music, Language, and the Brain$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Aniruddh D. Patel

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195123753

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195123753.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 27 May 2019



(p.353) 7 Evolution
Music, Language, and the Brain

Aniruddh D. Patel

Oxford University Press

Compared to other species and through examination from an evolutionary perspective, the only known species that is able to understand, create, and appreciate music is Homo sapiens. Although there may have been relevant evidence that prove how animals such as pygmy chimpanzees are able to recognize and comprehend simple syntax and vocabulary, there is no proof that animals are able to make use of a language-like communicative system, whether it is based on gestural signals or vocal communication. Also, while we initially perceive how some species may produce sounds that seem musical, we have to note that they are like humans in a sense that they only learn their songs by listening to adults. Examining the birds, whales, and other animals that produce “songs” shows that their songs are determined by biological factors. This chapter examines how music and language may or may not be the direct target of selection in human beings.

Keywords:   evolution, Homo sapiens, birds, whales, animals, songs, biological factors, selection

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .