Cognition and the Evolution of Music: Pitfalls and Prospects

  title={Cognition and the Evolution of Music: Pitfalls and Prospects},
  author={Henkjan Honing and Annemie Ploeger},
  journal={Topics in cognitive science},
  volume={4 4},
  • H. Honing, A. Ploeger
  • Published 1 October 2012
  • Psychology, Computer Science, Medicine
  • Topics in cognitive science
What was the role of music in the evolutionary history of human beings? We address this question from the point of view that musicality can be defined as a cognitive trait. Although it has been argued that we will never know how cognitive traits evolved (Lewontin, 1998), we argue that we may know the evolution of music by investigating the fundamental cognitive mechanisms of musicality, for example, relative pitch, tonal encoding of pitch, and beat induction. In addition, we show that a… 
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