By Gary Tomlinson
What is the starting place of track? within the previous couple of a long time this centuries-old puzzle has been reinvigorated by way of new archaeological facts and advancements within the fields of cognitive technology, linguistics, and evolutionary concept. during this path-breaking ebook, well known musicologist Gary Tomlinson attracts from those parts to build a brand new narrative for the emergence of human song. beginning at a interval of human prehistory lengthy ahead of Homo sapiens or song existed, Tomlinson describes the incremental attainments that, through altering the verbal exchange and society of prehumen species, laid the basis for musical behaviors in additional fresh instances. He lines in Neandertals and early sapiens the buildup and improvement of those capacities, and he info their coalescence into sleek musical habit around the final hundred millennia.
But A Million Years of tune is no longer approximately song on my own. Tomlinson builds a version of human evolution that revises our knowing of the interplay of biology and tradition throughout evolutionary time-scales, demanding and enriching present versions of our deep heritage. As he tells his tale, he attracts in different rising human qualities: language, symbolism, a metaphysical mind's eye and the ritual it supplies upward thrust to, complicated social constitution, and using complicated applied sciences. Tomlinson's version of evolution permits him to account for a lot of what makes us a distinct species on this planet this present day and offers a brand new method of realizing the looks of humanity in its sleek form.
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Extra info for A Million Years of Music: The Emergence of Human Modernity
D. Leakey, Olduvai Gorge: Excavations in Beds I and II, 1960 – 63 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971). indd 54 12/15/14 5:04 PM ACHEULEAN PERFORMANCES Archaeologists associate Acheulean assemblages with a number of hominin species, though (as with Oldowan tools) not without debate. The differences of view again reflect both the rarity of finds combining tools with hominin remains and our fragmentary knowledge all told of hominin speciation and dispersion. Early Acheulean tools are connected especially with Homo ergaster and Homo erectus, two species whose relation to one another and to their successors remains elusive.
This points to another feature required of any narrative of the emergence of complex human capacities: It will be a coevolutionary account merging the social behaviors of hominin species with the evolution of their biological capacities. 16 Coevolution is not a new term in natural selection theory, but has long been used to refer to the feedback relations by which the evolutions of separate species might be linked. A classic instance is an “arms race” between predator and prey. Selective pressures in an ecosystem might favor changes in a prey species that enable it better to defend itself against its predators.
In the same way, at a later stage, no “language gene” or “music gene” could be forthcoming. Instead genetic changes conduced to more general capacities with many phenotypic effects, among them, in the late hominin line, the learning of technological skills and even the forging of technological innovation. Saying this is tantamount to reverse engineering, in coevolutionary terms, Richard Dawkins’s “extended phenotype” hypothesis, in which genetic changes are selected by the whole range of an organism’s interaction with its environment.