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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 September 2020

On the Evolutionary Function of Song and Dance

On the Evolutionary Function of Song and Dance

(p.201) 8 On the Evolutionary Function of Song and Dance
Music, Language, and Human Evolution

Robin Dunbar

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers two possible alternative functional explanations for the evolution of music within the hominin lineage. These are the role of music in mate choice and mating and its role in social bonding. This chapter suggests that the original function of music is most likely associated with social bonding once group sizes became too large to be adequately bonded using grooming alone. It also contends that music served a natural bridge to language as language became inevitable as a mechanism for group bonding and cohesion.

Keywords:   music, hominins, mate choice, mating, social bonding, language, group bonding, social cohesion

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