Music makes us human, but what is music?

In his latest book, Harnessed, cognitive scientist Mark Changizi, reveals how and why language, speech and music exist, and why they are apparently uniquely human attributes that separate us, as a species, from the rest of life on Earth.

According to Changizi, the “lower” parts of the brain, the bits that recognise the sounds of nature, the scuffs, cracks and bangs, were hijacked by the “upper” parts of our brain and give us speech as we evolved from our ape-like hominid ancestors. Music emerged from our need to understand the sounds of other people moving around and how our brains are tuned to the beats of footsteps, the Doppler effect and the concept of banging ganglies…and why joggers wearing headphones are “blind” to the people around them…

Read on in my latest Pivot Points column in The Euroscientist, out today.

If you learned something from Sciencebase, enjoyed a song, snap, or the science, please consider leaving a tip to cover costs. The site no longer runs Google ads or similar systems, so your visit is untainted.