1. bookVolume 84 (2021): Issue 2 (June 2021)
Journal Details
First Published
24 Jan 2008
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

Evolutionary origins of music. Classical and recent hypotheses

Published Online: 01 Jul 2021
Page range: 213 - 231
Received: 10 Apr 2021
Accepted: 14 May 2021
Journal Details
First Published
24 Jan 2008
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

The aim of this paper is to review recent hypotheses on the evolutionary origins of music in Homo sapiens, taking into account the most influential traditional hypotheses. To date, theories derived from evolution have focused primarily on the importance that music carries in solving detailed adaptive problems. The three most influential theoretical concepts have described the evolution of human music in terms of 1) sexual selection, 2) the formation of social bonds, or treated it 3) as a byproduct. According to recent proposals, traditional hypotheses are flawed or insufficient in fully explaining the complexity of music in Homo sapiens. This paper will critically discuss three traditional hypotheses of music evolution (music as an effect of sexual selection, a mechanism of social bonding, and a byproduct), as well as and two recent concepts of music evolution - music as a credible signal and Music and Social Bonding (MSB) hypothesis.


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