The Evolution of Music

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Music as a Social and Evolutionary Phenomenon

Music has significant links to the motivations and social contacts of the human society. Only a small percentage of the world’s population is able to play music, but a majority can at least hum a tune. It is generally agreed that music is a core experience that has a generative process that gives us a glimpse of our cognitive capabilities. Our social instincts are tied to our musical sensibility and are a precursor of some of the factors that have governed human social evolution. I have always wondered how music came to exist. Music is a universally binding factor in human social interaction. However, understanding its evolution is covered in unfathomable mystery.

The Development of Music in Human Societies

Human evolution is a mystery, and so is the development of music in our societies. It is difficult to pinpoint precisely when the music began. Evolutionary evidence reveals that early cultures had a diversity of song and musical instruments. Some cultures sing a lot, others less but most cultures have an element of music. I, therefore, believe that music is a social feature that is generally shared; we may sing or listen to it when we are alone. However, music is typically social and mostly oriented towards others.

The Impact of Music on Cognitive Capabilities

Music influences our cognitive capabilities in numeracy, language ability, and particular perception. My experience with music has taught me that language and music are core elements of human development as they are tools that enhance our cognitive skills. Musical experiences are thought to improve brain processing and can, therefore, have an effect on language perception. Active engagement with music in children enhances the brain’s early understanding of linguistic sound.

The Benefits of Learning to Play a Musical Instrument

I started learning piano when I was eight years old. I believe that learning to play a musical instrument brings some sense of achievement in our lives. Learning to play increases our self-esteem and boosts our self-discipline. The persistence that is observed during learning may increase our motivation and support our learning process. Musical groups promote friendships and enhance the social skills of the participants. They also play a significant role in strengthening our teamwork skills (Kamien).

The Influence of Music on Brain Development

Learning curves among human beings are specific to individuals, and this is reflected in the way our brains process information. As we experience different forms of musical activity over a long time, the changes in the brain become permanent. Thus, our mind reflects what has been learned from the music. What is gained is reflected through specific brain activity. The tools that are used to support the development of musical skills have a direct influence on brain development and hence how we approach different tasks in our lives (Greenberg 598).

The Continuation of Music in Human Evolution

Our social instincts are tied to our musical sensibility and are a precursor of some of the factors that have governed human social evolution. Understanding the evolution of music is complicated; however, there are substantial benefits that are derived from active interaction with music throughout our lives. I believe that music is about communication and expression of human motivations. Music expands our social contact with others. Music will continue to be a core element in human evolution; the song is enjoyed by animals even though they may not be melodic to us.

The Influence of Music on Cognitive Abilities

In conclusion, I think that music reveals that mind-body separation does not exist. The influence of music on our cognitive abilities shows how critical music has been to our evolutionary success as a human society.

Works Cited

Greenberg, David M., et al. "The song is you: Preferences for musical attribute dimensions reflect personality." Social Psychological and Personality Science 7.6 (2016): 597-605.

Kamien, Roger, and Anita Kamien. Music: an appreciation. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1988.

October 05, 2023


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