The Evolution of Music

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This project investigates the evolutionary origins of our musical abilities, the nature of music, and the earliest archaeological evidence for musical activities amongst our ancestors. Music is possessed by all human cultures, and archaeological evidence for musical activities pre-dates even the earliest-known cave art. Music has been the subject of keen investigation across a great diversity of fields, from neuroscience and psychology to ethnography, archaeology, and its own dedicated field, musicology. Despite the great contributions that these studies have made towards understanding musical behaviours, much remains mysterious about this ubiquitous human phenomenon – not least, its origins.

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