MUSIC Steven Mithen The Singing Neanderthals

ISBN 13: 9780753820513

The Singing Neanderthals

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9780753820513: The Singing Neanderthals

An examination of our language instinct. Steven Mithen draws on a huge range of sources, from neurological case studies, through child psychology and the communication systems of non-human primates to the latest paleoarchaeological evidence.

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About the Author:

Steven Mithen is Professor of Early Prehistory and Head of the School of Human and Environmental Sciences at the University of Reading.

From Scientific American:

Early hominids largely looked and acted like apes. With one key difference: they stood and walked upright. This change in posture and mobility had profound implications for our evolution and "may have initiated the greatest musical revolution in human history." That is the ironic conclusion of Reading University archaeologist Steven Mithen, who continues his search for the essence of human behavior in his latest book, The Singing Neanderthals. Particularly within the past two million years, early humans refined the ability to walk, run and jump. With big brains and bottoms, spring-loaded legs, and sophisticated sensorimotor control, they could also dance, Mithen argues, if not sing. With a fascinating blend of neurology, anatomy, archaeology, developmental psychology and musicology, Mithen seeks the source of our propensity for making music, a universal human feature that has been strangely neglected compared with the origin of language. Darwin, naturally, touched on the topic, positing that unable to woo with words, our ancestors "endeavored to charm each other with musical notes and rhythm." Essential to both bipedal locomotion and music, rhythm plays a pivotal role as well in language. Music and language share other intriguing attributes. Both can move or manipulate us. Both can be spoken, written or gestured. Both possess hierarchical structure. And both seem to activate multiple regions of our brains. Mithen takes on linguist Steven Pinker’s assertion that music is just an entertaining invention, not a crucial biological adaptation like language. He carefully constructs and deliberately lays out his argument that music’s evolution holds the key to language. Yes, language ultimately supplanted music’s role in emotional expression and became our means of conveying ideas and information. Music, however, still stirs our most basic emotions. Until the relatively recent advent of syntactic language in modern humans, Mithen maintains, it was music that helped hominids find a mate, soothe a child, cheer a companion or provide a group’s social glue. Like language, much of music does not fossilize. We have elegant bird-bone flutes as old as 36,000 years from sites in Germany and France—unequivocal musical instruments. Beyond that, one is hard-pressed to display tangible evidence of music’s role in prehuman society. Mithen must speculate that Neandertals, for instance, strummed stalactites, drummed on mammoth skulls or otherwise made music without leaving a trace. But step inside a cave used by prehistoric people, and it is easy to appreciate its acoustic potential. By drawing data from a diverse range of disciplines, Mithen makes a persuasive case that our ancestors got rhythm and brings to prehistory a sense of sound.

Blake Edgar is a science editor and writer. He is co-author of From Lucy to Language, forthcoming in a revised edition from Simon & Schuster, and of The Dawn of Human Culture (John Wiley & Sons, 2002).

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Steven Mithen
Editore: Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom (2006)
ISBN 10: 075382051X ISBN 13: 9780753820513
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Descrizione libro Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. UK ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. A fascinating and incisive examination of our language instinct from award-winning science writer Steven Mithen. Along with the concepts of consciousness and intelligence, our capacity for language sits right at the core of what makes us human. But while the evolutionary origins of language have provoked speculation and impassioned debate, music has been neglected if not ignored. Like language it is a universal feature of human culture, one that is a permanent fixture in our daily lives. In THE SINGING NEANDERTHALS, Steven Mithen redresses the balance, drawing on a huge range of sources, from neurological case studies through child psychology and the communication systems of non-human primates to the latest paleoarchaeological evidence. The result is a fascinating and provocative work and a succinct riposte to those, like Steven Pinker, who have dismissed music as a functionless and unimportant evolutionary byproduct. Codice libro della libreria AA29780753820513

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Steven Mithen
Editore: Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom (2006)
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Descrizione libro Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. UK ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. A fascinating and incisive examination of our language instinct from award-winning science writer Steven Mithen.Along with the concepts of consciousness and intelligence, our capacity for language sits right at the core of what makes us human. But while the evolutionary origins of language have provoked speculation and impassioned debate, music has been neglected if not ignored. Like language it is a universal feature of human culture, one that is a permanent fixture in our daily lives.In THE SINGING NEANDERTHALS, Steven Mithen redresses the balance, drawing on a huge range of sources, from neurological case studies through child psychology and the communication systems of non-human primates to the latest paleoarchaeological evidence.The result is a fascinating and provocative work and a succinct riposte to those, like Steven Pinker, who have dismissed music as a functionless and unimportant evolutionary byproduct. Codice libro della libreria AA29780753820513

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Descrizione libro Orion Publishing Co. Paperback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body, Steven Mithen, A fascinating and incisive examination of our language instinct from award-winning science writer Steven Mithen. Along with the concepts of consciousness and intelligence, our capacity for language sits right at the core of what makes us human. But while the evolutionary origins of language have provoked speculation and impassioned debate, music has been neglected if not ignored. Like language it is a universal feature of human culture, one that is a permanent fixture in our daily lives. In THE SINGING NEANDERTHALS, Steven Mithen redresses the balance, drawing on a huge range of sources, from neurological case studies through child psychology and the communication systems of non-human primates to the latest paleoarchaeological evidence. The result is a fascinating and provocative work and a succinct riposte to those, like Steven Pinker, who have dismissed music as a functionless and unimportant evolutionary byproduct. Codice libro della libreria B9780753820513

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Descrizione libro Orion Publishing Co, 2006. Condizione libro: New. 2006. New Ed. Paperback. A fascinating and incisive examination of our language instinct from award-winning science writer Steven Mithen. Num Pages: 384 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: JM; PD. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 164 x 216 x 28. Weight in Grams: 354. . . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780753820513

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Descrizione libro Orion Publishing Co. Condizione libro: New. 2006. New Ed. Paperback. A fascinating and incisive examination of our language instinct from award-winning science writer Steven Mithen. Num Pages: 384 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: JM; PD. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 164 x 216 x 28. Weight in Grams: 354. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780753820513

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Descrizione libro Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Not Signed; A fascinating and incisive examination of our language instinct from award-winning science writer Steven Mithen.Along with the concepts of consciousness and intelligence, our capacity for language sits right at the core of what makes us human. But while the evolutionary origins of language have prov. book. Codice libro della libreria ria9780753820513_rkm

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