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Music, Language, and Human Evolution$
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Nicholas Bannan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199227341

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199227341.001.0001

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On the Evolutionary Function of Song and Dance

On the Evolutionary Function of Song and Dance

Chapter:
(p.201) 8 On the Evolutionary Function of Song and Dance
Source:
Music, Language, and Human Evolution
Author(s):

Robin Dunbar

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199227341.003.0008

This chapter considers two possible alternative functional explanations for the evolution of music within the hominin lineage. These are the role of music in mate choice and mating and its role in social bonding. This chapter suggests that the original function of music is most likely associated with social bonding once group sizes became too large to be adequately bonded using grooming alone. It also contends that music served a natural bridge to language as language became inevitable as a mechanism for group bonding and cohesion.

Keywords:   music, hominins, mate choice, mating, social bonding, language, group bonding, social cohesion

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