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Music, Language, and Human Evolution$
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Nicholas Bannan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199227341

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199227341.001.0001

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Harmony and its Role in Human Evolution

Harmony and its Role in Human Evolution

(p.288) 12 Harmony and its Role in Human Evolution
Music, Language, and Human Evolution
Nicholas Bannan
Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the role of harmony in human evolution. It provides a commentary on the historical and interdisciplinary emergence of the view on the possible link between singing and language production and the function of the vocal timbre. It discusses the role of German physicist Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz on the origin of evolutionary musicology and the views of several singing teachers on voice evolution including Manuel Garcia, John Blacking, and John Potter. This chapter also considers musicality in vocal learning and culture and the relation between the harmonic series and human vocalization.

Keywords:   harmony, human evolution, singing, language production, vocal timbre, Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz, evolutionary musicology, voice evolution, harmonic series, human vocalization

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