Biomusicology: Neurophysiological, Neuropsychological And Evolutionary Perspectives On The Origins And Purposes Of Music (Ex)
Publish Date: 1992-10-13
Author: Nils Lennart Wallin
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Since the 1960s, Swedish musicologist Nils Wallin has been exploring man's biological inheritance and its relationship to music. This book, the culmination of these many years of investigation, offers a musicological interpretation of recent r esearch in neurophysiology and paleobiology. A model of music as a natural system which serves as a foundation for the understanding of our musical mind, its capacity, and its phylogenetic roots is proposed. And a unified bio-socio-cultural field theory of music is presented. It is here argued that music creates structures which develop and grow in a manner not unlike the processes controlling the growth of organisms. Thus, music as a system is conditioned by biological microsystems, as well as superi or macrosystems of a more complex nature, such as the flow of consciousness and social, political, and economic systems-a natural synergetic system.
Wallin's discourse encompasses-1) the musical consequences of cerebral functional asymmetry; 2) the h ierarchic and selective organization ofperceptual-cognitive auditory processes; 3) reticular-limbic responses to musical stimuli interpreted as synapse-modifying mechanisms for long-term motivation and learning, as well as for phylogentical learning; 4 ) the question of remnants or retentions with roots in the sound-gestures of other vertebrates of a higher order (and not solely the non-human primates) being active in the innermost structure of music; 5) vocalization techniques, e.g., the klni ng technique of the late Paleolithic herding culture of Europe, as paleobiological retention; 6) the epistemological perspective of models of life-processes as discussed in recent scientific research. The paperback edition of 2008 reproduces the work first published in 1992.