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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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Reweaving the strands: welcoming diverse perspectives on the biology of music

Reweaving the strands: welcoming diverse perspectives on the biology of music

(p.128) Chapter 14 Reweaving the strands: welcoming diverse perspectives on the biology of music
Language and Music as Cognitive Systems

W. Tecumseh Fitch

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents Fitch's response to the commentaries in Chapters 10–13. The chapter completely agrees with Simon Kirby that we must be prepared to envisage different selective forces acting at different stages in the evolution of hominid communication (whether musical or linguistic), and his arguments about the relevance of the developmental stress hypothesis to the evolution of music are compelling. The chapter responds to Steven Mithen' request for several clarifications and elaborations. Iain Morley's commentary is considered rich in the breadth of evidence adduced, and this chapter strongly agrees with his general point that discussions of music evolution need to integrate dance more closely. However, it does not share Morely's conviction that dance and musical rhythmic behaviour necessarily make use of identical mechanisms. In response to Elizabeth Tolbert's critique, the chapter corrects a number of apparent misconceptions concerning the assumptions underlying his approach.

Keywords:   music, biology, evolution, hominid communication, dance, musical rhythmic behaviour

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