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Humans have evolved all sorts of advantageous adaptations for survival and reproduction, the two aspects of living things that drive natural selection. Music, however, does not seem to directly benefit either. So why has it evolved as such a significant and indispensable part of human culture for over (at least) the last 35,000 years2? What links music to human survival, making it so ubiquitous across time?
Neuroscientists who study musics effects on the brain are split into two factionsthose that believe music did evolve as some kind of evolutionary adaptation (to explain exactly why, only theories exist), and those that believe it was merely an incident that was not shaped by, nor did it shape, the evolution of humans into what we are today. The former concludes that music increased human fitness through reproduction and survival. The latter says music didnt affect our fitness at all.
Charles Darwin, the face of evolutionary biology himself, believed music evolved thro...read more