Even the father of evolutionary theory, Charles Darwin, was puzzled by the human ability to perceive music and called this ability “the most mysterious of those that [humanity] is gifted with.” Some academic thinkers – such as cognitive scientist Stephen Pinker – have even questioned whether music has any special value at all. for example.
By itself, according to Pinker, it is of no value and acts only as an irritant to hearing.
If this were the case, would people all over the world spend so much of their life time playing and listening to music?
If you consider yourself a music freak, match your obsession with the Babinga attitude towards music. This Central African nation is known for its song and dance accompanying any activity – from collecting honey to hunting elephants.
The anthropologist Gilbert Rouget, who lived among the Babing representatives in 1946, found that not participating in the ritual of joint music-making was considered the worst crime among them. “Perhaps you cannot express more clearly that a song and food are equally necessary for a person for life, – the scientist noted. – For this reason, many people (including myself) can hardly believe that music is just a background soundtrack to the history of human evolution “.
Fortunately, there are alternative theories regarding the purpose of music. One particularly popular hypothesis is that music arose in response to sexual competition among humans – like the flamboyant tail of peacocks. Indeed, developed musical abilities make a person more sexually attractive.
However, there is little evidence for this theory: a recent study of 10 thousand twins did not show that musicians are somehow particularly lucky in bed matters (Mick Jagger and many other rockers, however, can argue with this).
Emotional contact with the world
If a melody evokes pleasant vibrations in the body, simply listening to it is enough for our ego to diminish. Sounds reassuring, especially for those whose musical lives, like mine, are tied to couches and iPods. A group with more solidarity and less internal strife has a higher chance of survival and prosperity. This was most widely illustrated by the example of the Babinga tribe with their obligatory daily music-making.
The role of music as glue for society can be traced through the example of songs sung by slaves at work, as well as the choral songs of soldiers and the songs of sailors. It seems that music really brings people together, makes them closer to each other. Music, apparently, is at the very foundation of our relationship with the world, and there is a deep meaning in the fact that, by plucking our heart strings, it helps us establish emotional contact with other people and with everything in general.
Each culture can build on this rudimentary instinct in its own way, creating its own vocabulary of musical chords and motives that will become associated with certain feelings and emotions.