Evolutionary Musicology

  title={Evolutionary Musicology},
  author={Nathan Oesch},
  journal={Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science},
  • Nathan Oesch
  • Published 2020
  • Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

On the representation of hierarchical structure: Revisiting Darwin’s musical protolanguage

In this article, we address the tenability of Darwin’s musical protolanguage, arguing that a more compelling evolutionary scenario is one where a prosodic protolanguage is taken to be the preliminary



Production of grooming-associated sounds by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) at Ngogo: variation, social learning, and possible functions

Comparison to other research sites shows that the possible existence of grooming-specific sound dialects in chimpanzees deserves further investigation, and limited data showing that bouts accompanied by teeth chomping or spluttering at their initiation were longer than bouts for which this was not the case point toward a social function, but more data are needed for a definitive test.

Sexual selection for syntax and kin selection for semantics: problems and prospects

The evolution of human language, and the kind of thought the communication of which requires it, raises considerable explanatory challenges. These systems of representation constitute a radical

Music listening evokes implicit affiliation

Recent empirical evidence suggests that – like other synchronized, collective actions – making music together with others fosters affiliation and pro-social behaviour. However, it is not yet known


Research in anthropology, ethnomusicology, developmental and comparative psychology, neuropsychology, and neurophysiology is reviewed that bears on questions concerning the origins and evolution of music, focusing on the hypothesis that music perception is constrained by innate, possibly human- and musicspecific principles of organization.

Maternal engagement with music up to nine months post-birth: Findings from a cross-sectional study in England

There is significant evidence of the benefits of music for babies and emerging evidence that music may also benefit mothers’ wellbeing. However, there is a lack of current data documenting maternal

Evolution, communication, and the proper function of language

Language is both a biological and a cultural phenomenon. Our aim here is to discuss, in an evolutionary perspective, the articulation of these two aspects of language. For this, we draw on the