Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (4):513-524 (2012)

Authors
Henkjan Honing
University of Amsterdam
Abstract
What was the role of music in the evolutionary history of human beings? We address this question from the point of view that musicality can be defined as a cognitive trait. Although it has been argued that we will never know how cognitive traits evolved (Lewontin, 1998), we argue that we may know the evolution of music by investigating the fundamental cognitive mechanisms of musicality, for example, relative pitch, tonal encoding of pitch, and beat induction. In addition, we show that a nomological network of evidence (Schmitt & Pilcher, 2004) can be built around the hypothesis that musicality is a cognitive adaptation. Within this network, different modes of evidence are gathered to support a specific evolutionary hypothesis. We show that the combination of psychological, medical, physiological, genetic, phylogenetic, hunter–gatherer, and cross-cultural evidence indicates that musicality is a cognitive adaptation
Keywords Beat induction  Relative pitch  Musicality  Adaptation  Evolutionary psychology  Music cognition  Innateness
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DOI 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2012.01210.x
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References found in this work BETA

The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Raimund Popper - 1934 - London, England: Routledge.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.K. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):55-57.

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Citations of this work BETA

Musical Pluralism and the Science of Music.Adrian Currie & Anton Killin - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (1):9-30.

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