Chapter 1 addresses these five basic questions about music:
1. WHAT is music?
2. WHO makes music?
3. WHERE does music come from?
4. WHEN did music get started?
5. WHY is there such a thing as music?
other question, “HOW does one go about creating music worth listening to?” takes
nine chapters to answer—Chapters 3 through 11, the main part of the book.
the five “Ws” of the phenomenon of music necessitates delving into Darwinian
natural selection and sexual selection. If you have a strong religious faith,
you may find bits of Chapter 1 offensive because of all the evolution stuff. On
the other hand, if you have a strong atheistic belief, Chapter 1 may offend you,
too because it does not advocate for atheism.
If you already know all about natural selection and sexual
selection and brain modularity, then Chapter 1 might simply bore
you. If so, why not grab a bag of chips and ride on ahead to Chapter
2, which discusses the rise of the Western popular music industry
and its various genres. Or Chapters 3 through 11, the sections on
how to create memorable, emotionally powerful music and lyrics.
~ • ~ • ~ • ~
Music has played a central role in human existence for hundreds of
thousands of years.
So ... what is music?
to the evidence, it’s probably an adaptation—although some researchers
argue music is a byproduct of other adaptations.
biological trait that evolved to promote survival or reproductive success. A
tiger’s fangs. A peacock’s fan. A mosquito’s ability to draw blood and escape
into the night, just as you’re trying to get to sleep.
As a human, you possess many formidable adaptations, such as
bipedalism (two-legged walking), language, and a lot of other inborn
skills that your fellow primates do not have. (Unlike horses, all
primates— several hundred species—have highly flexible 5-fingered hands,
opposable digits, and sharp eyesight. Some, such as monkeys, apes, and humans,
also have relatively large brains.)
biologists confer “adaptation” status upon a human trait, in a solemn ceremony
at Stonehenge under a full moon, said trait must fulfil several criteria, among
in all present-day cultures must use the adaptation.
from history and anthropology must indicate the adaptation’s existence in
from palaeontology must indicate the adaptation’s existence to some degree in
extinct hominid species—that is, in other species of bipedal human-like
primates, all now extinct.
All of the above apply to language and bipedalism. They also
apply to music. Every human culture ever known has had music.
Even societies that do not have well-developed visual arts show
sophisticated musical development.
Today, practically all normal adult human beings:
• Can and do sing to some degree (Pop Idol/American Idol
contestants notwithstanding), even if only in the privacy of an elevator or on
the back of a horse in the hills south of Tulsa.
and do tap at least one foot to a tune, once in a while (an important
qualification as you’ll see in a minute).
to self-chosen music, purchase music, and otherwise show appreciation for music
at some level. (“I could’ve played guitar like Jimi, but I chose to go into
accounting instead, to meet more women.”)
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You are reading the FREE
SAMPLE Chapters 1 through 6 of the acclaimed 12-Chapter book,
How Music REALLY Works!, 2nd Edition.
Here's what's in
Chapters 7 through 12.
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