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Language and Music as Cognitive Systems$
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Patrick Rebuschat, Martin Rohmeier, John A. Hawkins, and Ian Cross

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199553426

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199553426.001.0001

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(p.71) Chapter 8 Introduction
Language and Music as Cognitive Systems

Patrick Rebuschat

Martin Rohrmeier

John A. Hawkins

Ian Cross

Oxford University Press

This chapter is an introduction to Section 2 (Evolution), covering Chapters 9–14. The first chapter, which is the target article, is followed by commentaries. The target article adopts an innovative perspective, focusing on the domain of rhythm as foregrounded in music and as an integral component of language. Rhythm is an apparently simple feature of music, so simple that it has remained under the radar of most contributors to debates on the evolution of music and language. Fitch shows it to be anything but simple, drawing on psychological, neuroscientific, and ethological evidence to reveal it as complex, multi-componential, and — as manifested not only in language but also in music — quite probably unique to modern humans.

Keywords:   music, rhythm, language, evolution

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