Walter Freemann

ed. by Wallin, Merker, Brown
Bradford Books
MIT Press

A Neurobiological Role of Music in Social Bonding


Music is regarded in biological terms as originating in the brain, so that most explanations concentrate on the ways in which brains process information.

Studies of the nonlinear dynamics of the primary sensory cortices show that patterns that are constructed by chaotic nonlinear dynamics in cortical neuropil replace stimulus-driven activity. This finding supports the concept that knowledge in brains is entirely constructed within them without direct transfer of information from outside.

As knowledge increases by learning, brains of individuals grow progressively apart because of the uniqueness of the knowledge that is constructed within each one. The resulting condition of isolation is known among philosophers as epistemological solipsism. This view is reinforced by the tenets of aesthetics, which emphasize the deeply personal experiences of individuals, not as active listeners but as passive recipients of beauty in music and other arts. Neither conventional neuroscience nor aesthetics can explain the deep emotional power of music to move humans to action.

In an alternative view, human brains are seen to have evolved primarily in response to environmental pressures to bridge the solipsistic gulf between individuals and form integrated societies. An evolutionary origin is found in neurohumoral mechanisms of parental bonding to altricial infants. A case is made that music together with dance co-evolved biologically and culturally to serve as a technology of social bonding. Findings of anthropologists and psychiatrists show how rhythmic behavioral activities that are induced by drum beats and music can lead to altered states of consciousness, through which mutual trust among members of societies is engendered.


In seeing or writing the phrase "the biology of music" one is struck by the seeming intractability of the problem of understanding emotions in the contrasting contexts of aesthetics and neuroscience. On one hand, the scientific study of brains must emphasize features that are regular, reprodacible, and common to all participants in making and listening to music. The description is commonly made in terms of information processing by sensory pathways up to the auditory cortex, with only cursory reference to the meaning and emotion attached to perceptions of music. The emergence of skills in performing and listening to music are described and explained in terms of Darwinian determinism: how and in response to what environmental circumstances have these capabilities evolved?

On the other hand, appreciation of music is a deeply personal activity accompanied by individual feelings that are notoriously difficult to express in words or nonverbal ways. The creativity that is required for active listening as well as singing or playing an instrument for oneself and others seems antithetical to scientific determinism. The difficulty of devising a biological connection is compounded by the fact that no other species of animals displays either the capacity for shared rhythms or the semantics of music as it appears in humans. Birds, whales, and cicadas "sing" and "signal," but they do not manifest the richness of compassion and understanding that we experience in speaking and singing with one another. Humans in all societies have these capabilities in varying individual degrees, but we cannot make an evolutionary tree to describe their origin from neurohumoral mechanisms of mammalian behavioral controls.

|We must go past the cognitive and aesthetic aspects of music to seek understanding of the biology of music. Neural mechanisms of sensory and motor processing are necessary for complex patterns to be produced and apprehended. The contribution of aesthetics is required to enlarge the scope of inquiry to include emotional textures. But the role of music as an instrument of communication beyond words strikes to the heart of the ways in which we humans come to trust one another.

Trust is the basis of all human social endeavors, and a case is made that it is created through the practice of music. How and why, in biological terms, can music and dance bring humans together with a depth of bonding that cannot be achieved with words alone?

The Biological Dynamics of Perception

The mechanisms of the ear that transform sounds to neural messages and the pathways that carry messages to the auditory cortex are well understood (Clynes 1982; Pribram 1982; Wallin 1991). The inner ear has been likened to a harp, the strings of which resonate to a range of frequencies and excite sensory neurons selectively in accordance with their tuning. The process expresses complex sounds as spatiotemporal patterns of neural activity that are shaped by filters when they pass through relays to the primary auditory cortex. What happens thereafter is a matter of conjecture, as the information is processed through neighboring cortical areas concerned with speech and music. This is revealed by older observations on deficits produced by brain trauma and by newer techniques of brain imaging to study patterns of augmented cortical blood flow during speaking, listening, and singing. It is thought that exchanges between association cortices in the newer brain and older parts of the forebrain, which comprise the deep-lying limbic lobe, generate memories evoked by listening to music and arouse emotional states that have become associated with now familiar songs through previous experiences.

(cf Edelman: neural darwinism, reentrant loops, remembered present)

Music involves not just the auditory system but the somatosensory and motor systems as well, reflecting its strong associations with dance, the rhythmic tapping, stepping, clapping, and chanting that accompany and indeed produce music. It is inevitable that musical experience involves the motor cortex, basal ganglia, and corebellum in producing song and dance, based in the genesis and maintenance of rhythmic spatiotemporal patterns of neural activity in widely distributed areas of the brain. How these patterns arise and where the pacemakers may be located is unknown. At best, neurophysiological information can explain some of the physical constraints on the production and apprehension of music, such as the range of auditory frequencies in instruments and the human voice, rates at which repetitive movements can be made and sustained in playing and dancing, and their limitations owing to inertia of parts of the body.

My own view of the functions of the auditory and somatosensory pathways was shaped by my experimental observations of their electrical activity patterns during learned behavior elicited by simple conditioned stimuli.These patterns do not have the periodic oscillations that are characteristic of music and dance. They are remarkably aperiodic waves that reflect shared oscillations of millions of neurons in cortical areas that are about the size of one's fingernail. Oscillations form patterns that last ouly a tenth of a second, but they form and collapse at unpredictable time intervals several times each second. The content related to the auditory, somatic, visnal, or olfactory stimuli is found in the spatial pattern of amplitude modulation (AM) of the common chaotic waveform that serves as a carrier (Freeman and Barrie 1994; Barrie, Freeman, and Lenhart 1996).

An analogy is the sequence of spatial patterns in the frames of a black and white movie, in which the carrier is white light. The AM patterns are elicited by stimuli in each of the primary sensory cortices, and they all converge and are combined in the limbic system, deep within the forebrain (Freeman 1998). Particulars of the patterns that relate to structures of the eye, ear, nose, and skin are deleted in the formation of multisensory percepts known as gestalts. These integrated patterns are the basis for awareness of musical sounds and the somatosensory (both exteroceptive and proprioceptive) and visual contexts in which they are perceived.

In tracing the path in brains of rabbits taken by neural activity that accompanied and followed transformation of an odor stimulus by sensory receptors and its transmission to the cerebral cortex, I found that stimulus-dependent activity vanished. What appeared in place of this activity was a new pattern of cortical activity. My students and I first noticed this anomaly in the olfactory system (Freeman and Schneider 1982), and looking elsewhere we found it in visual, auditory, and somatic cortices, too (Freeman and Barrie 1994; Barrie, Freeman and Lenhart 1996). In all systems, traces of the stimuli were replaced by novel patterns of neural activity, which were created by the chaotic dynamics of the cortices. These individualized patterns lacked invariance with respect to the stimuli that triggered them (Freeman 1992). They were not eidetic or derived images. Instead, they reflected the experiences, contexts, and significances of stimuli, in a word, the meanings of the stimuli for individuals. Our evidence from other sensory cortices indicated that this principle holds for all senses in all animals, including humans.

The conclusion is that the only knowledge that animals and humans can have of the world outside themselves is what they construct within their own brains.

This finding could not have been obtained by introspection, because the process of observation contains within it some well-known operations that compensate for accidental changes in appearances of objects owing to variations in perspective, context, and so forth (Smythies 1994). We are drenched in perceptual constancies as a necessary condition for daily living. No one can tell from one's own experience or from the constant response R of someone else to a repeated stimulus S that an apparently invariant S-R relation is mediated by inconstant patterns of brain activity.

I explain the lack of invariance as owing to the unity of individual experience (Freeman 1995), because every perception is influenced by all past experience. Each exposure to a stimulus changes the brain's synaptic structure so that it cannot respond identically over time, although it may appear subjectively to be so. As Heraclitus remarked, one cannot step twice in the same river.

Biological Isolation of Brains from Each Other

These findings can be summarized by saying that a form of solipsism isolates each brain from all others. The word as it is commonly used is applied to an individual who is so self-centered that he or she believes that all others are mere projections of their own imaginations. That is metaphysical solipsism, by which everything that exists is the projection of a brain. That would lead to the absurd conclusion that all of us are the fantasy of a dreaming rabbit. I am proposing a less common use of the word to mean epistemological solipsism, which holds that all knowledge is created within the brains of individuals. Each mind constructs its world view under the realization that other minds must exist. Knowledge is not instilled by indoctrination, as held by programmers who feed information into their computers. It is encouraged to grow by exhortation and example, as held by educators and insightful parents.

Solipsistic views have been held in some degree by many philosophers since Descartes, but they pose difflculties. It is impossible for minds to disprove metaphysical solipsism by logic alone, so how can a mind really be sure that any other mind exists, or, for that matter, the world? How can knowledge be based on the experience of each individual separately through sensory systems that form the windows of minds onto the world?

How can knowledge be based on the experience of each individual separately through sensory systems that form the windows of minds onto the world?

How can knowledge of natural laws and mathematics emerge? If knowledge is expressed in a private language within each mind, how can it be shared and verified as being the same in different minds?

These formidable difficalties are not found in views that knowledge is universal and is there to be taken in like water, or that it is built into minds as categorical structures in order for minds to exist at all. Neural mechanisms by which solipsistic knowledge can be created, made public, and validated between individuals become clear only in the context of intentional action.

Repeated attempts to answer these questions by logic and computation have not succeeded. Hence, biological data that emerged from animal brain studies and that support the solipsistic view offer new and interesting questions. Why do brains work this way, seeming to throw away the great bulk of their sensory input? what part do they keep? where and how do they keep it? how do they express what they know in themselves? how do they acquire it?
how do they mobilize the past to embed it in the future?
above all, how do they communicate with other brains?

This problem lies not in translating or mapping knowledge from one brain onto another but rather in establishing mutual understanding and trust through shared actions during which brains create the channels, codes, agreements, and protocols that precede that reciprocal mappings of information in dialogues. It takes more than a telephone line and a dictionary to make a call to a foreign country.

Therefore, to say that a brain is solipsistic is to say that it grows like a neuron within itself, and that it has a bonndary around itself in much the way that a neuron has a bounding membrane entirely aronnd itself, preserving its unity and integrity. The barrier is not merely the skin and bone around each brain. It is the private language in each brain, in some respects like the labeling of the self by the immune system. Yet brains arise and are shaped in evolution not as isolated entities but as units in societies ranging upward from pairs to empires.

Rainer Maria Rilke, described the way in which individuals resonate together in his poem Liebeslied ("Love Song"), first published in Neue Gedichte (1907):

Doch alles, was uns anrührt, dich und mich,
nimmt uns zusammen wie ein Bogenstrich,
der aus zwei Saiten eine Stimme zieht.
Auf welches Instrument sind wir gespannt?
Und welcher Geiger hat uns in der Hand?
O süsses Lied. (pp. 239-240)

Yet all that touches us, you and me,
takes us together like a violin bow,
that draws one voice from two strings.
On what instrument are we strung?
And which violinist has us in hand?
O sweet song. [My translation]

For biologists, the instrument is brain chemistry and the player is evolution. Growth from within each individual is necessary so that each brain may cope with the infinite complexity of the world, but cooperation with other brains is also a social imperative, because the golf must be bridged. Rilke saw the isolation as having beneficial aspects by providing ultimate privacy for everyone.

Growth from within each individual is necessary so that each brain may cope with the infinite complexity of the world, but cooperation with other brains is also a social imperative, because the golf must be bridged.

Aesthetics Supports the Solipsistic View

Something of the solipsistic aspect of music appreciation is conveyed in the term "aesthetics," which is commonly considered to be a branch of philosophy that analyzes beauty in the fine arts as distinct from that which is pleasant, moral, or useful. The essential character of beauty and tests by which it may be recognized are deeply individual.

Ability to appreciate it is attributed to individuals who have engaged in years of study of the arts as to refine their capacities for appreciation and judgment. In this view, sensations and emotions that have the fine arts for their stimulus are based on the impact of a stimulus coming from a work of art or a piece of music, to which the observer or listener responds in an educated but still passive manner, as by sitting in a concert hall and letting the sound waves pour through.

The word aesthetic, from the Greek aistetikos and the Latin form aesthetica, was first used about 1750 by Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten to designate a cognitive science of sensuous knowledge whose goal is beauty, in contrast to logic whose goal is truth. Kant used transcendental aesthetics to denote a priori principles of sensory experience couched in categories of time and space.

Hegel (1830) broke from cognitive, rational science to a phenomenology of the fine arts appealing to the senses, which he called Aesthetik. This was so in accord with nineteenth-century Romanticism that since then the word is widely used in his sense.

The social dimension of aesthetics is largely reduced to relations between artists and critics. According to Giddings (1932): "All arts, we must remember, are phases of the social mind. We are so much in the habit of thinking of them in terms of art products that we forget that the arts themselves are groups of ideas and acquisitions of skill that exist only in the minds, muscles, and nerves of living men" (p. 7).

Whereas art and aesthetics are both creative processes, they differ in their directions of change in complexity. The artist begins with a high degree of complexity steeped in chaos, but is constrained by the physical medium in which the work is done and by the discipline of the Academy. The critic begins in a rigid academic milieu and has his or her mind opened by a work of art into a higher degree of complexity over the edge of order into chaos, which is not otherwise accessible. Artist and critic interact reciprocally to construct the dynamics through which art and aesthetics come into being. For both, the experience of beauty is achieved through a sense of closure within their fields of intentionality, which are developed, maintained, and evolved by the neurodynamics within their brains.

These fields of intentional neural activity reveal neurodynamic operations that construct the psychological space-time arena in which logic is performed. They may provide the raw materials from which a new biological science of beauty in music might be constructed, which might explain the forms of brain activity that underlie our attainment of harmony, balance, congruity, proportion, and symmetry, and neural operations that support critical judgment, taste, discernment, and critical responsiveness. However, these aspects contribute little to understanding raw emotions induced by music in circumstances where beauty is not at issue, but power is.

Selected Neuropeptides Dissolve the Solipsistic Barrier

Even though the neural mechanisms are unclear, there is no doubt that music has the power to induce and modulate different emotional states, and that these states are accompanied by release of neurohormones in affected brains. Under the theory founded by Walter Cannon (1939), each state of emotion is mediated by a neurohormone acting on the hypothalamus as well as other parts of the brain. It supplanted the James-Lange theory of emotion, according to which emotional states are felt and identified by sensory systems, including those of the viscera. Neither of these is wrong nor entirely satisfactory, and in interesting respects they were both anticipated in practice by the ancient Greeks, who formulated three main classes of music relating to emotional states. Phrygian music was martial and served with trumpets to incite action in battle. Emotions of fear and rage are associated with intracerebral release of norepinephrine. Similar forms of aggressive or terrified behavior in modern times are induced by cocaine and amphetamine, which mimic some of the central effects of norepinephrine. Lydian music was solemn, slow, plaintive, and religious, with reliance on flutes instead of trumpets. Contemplative and relaxed moods indaced by this Muzak-like music are associated with release of serotonin in the brain. Similar effects were induced by ingestion of mushroom hallucinogens, which preceded LSD, and are now gained by Prozac, which blocks endogenous serotonin reuptake and prolongs its action. Ionian music was convivial, joyful, and, according to Plato effeminate, relying heavily on drums to induce dancing. Pleasurable states are now associated with intracranial release of dopamine and endorphins. Then as now they were induced by alcohol and tetrahydrocannabinol, which serve as adjuvants to facilitate the passive onset of such states at modern rock concerts and rave dances.

These partial explanations still fall short of explaining the deep roots of the appeal of music in human affairs, particularly with respect to the call for communal action and understanding.
The use of language is an evolutionary triumph that has made civilization possible, but its use for communication by representations, both oral and written, requires preparation and shaping of brains to create trust. Trust is an implicit expectation and faith in the predictability of the behavior of those to whom one has committed oneself by a transformation of the self. It transcends the solipsistic barrier.

Language....its use for communication by representations, both oral and written, requires preparation and shaping of brains to create trust. Trust is an implicit expectation and faith in the predictability of the behavior of those to whom one has committed oneself by a transformation of the self. It transcends the solipsistic barrier.

Such a commitment is seen at the most primitive lovel in mammals in the transformation that takes place in a mother at the time of giving birth and committing herself to the care of her newborn infant. In many species, including humans, the transformation occurs in the father as well, by which a child's behavior is transformed into that of a parent. Studies of brain function during copulation to orgasm in both males and females and in females during lactation show that the neuropeptide oxytocin is released into the basal forebrain (Pedersen et al. 1992). It appears to act by dissolving preexisting learning by loosening the synaptic connections in which prior knowledge is held. This opens an opportunity for learning new knowledge. The meltdown does not instill knowledge. It clears the path for the acquisition of new understanding through behavioral actions that are shared with others, including cooperative caring for the infant and the other parent.

A well-documented example of this process of transformation in adults comes from the biology of brain-washing. Well known techniques of sensory isolation, overload, stress, and chemical manipulation can lead to a crisis in brain function that Pavlov called "transmarginal inhibition" and is followed by a remarkable state of malleability and opportunity for reeducation. This condition has also been characterized as an altered state and as a trance. The transformation goes beyond acceptance of what cannot be changed, and it is not a loss of recollection of the past. It constitutes a wholesale change in beliefs and attitudes by which a new person emerges with new social commitments.

Sargant (1957) documented striking similarities between these techniques and those used to arouse the fervor of dancers in preliterate tribes and parishioners of evangelistic churches in congregations from the seventeenth century to the present, in which the avowed goal was religious conversion to save souls. Features characterizing the process were the presence of strong emotional arousal, such as by fear of devils or of pain; severe physical exercise, such as by prolonged dancing; sensory overload as by continual loud singing, chanting, and stomping in time to loud drums and horns; and lack of sleep by all-night revelry.

Music and Dance as the Biotechnology of Group Formation

Anthropologists and ethnopsychiatrists documented the prevalence in preliterate tribes of singing and dancing to the point of physical and psychological collapse during religious and social ceremonies. Typically, members of a community gather at a central place surrounded by musicians and their instruments, priests and shamans as masters of ceremony (Price 1982), a central altar, and icons that symbolize tribal totems and deities. Rhythmic drumming, chanting, clapping, marching in stop, and pirouetting around bonfires last for hours, through the night into dawn, as one by one the participants drop from exhaustion. They are then succored by other, older members of the tribe, and brought into rituals to symbolize their admission to new adult status. This is the moment of change.

Emile Durkheim (1915) described the socializing process as the use of ". . . totemic emblems by clans to express and communicate collective representations," which begins where the individual feels he is the totem and evolves beliefs that he will become the totem or that his ancestors are in the totem. Religious rites and coremonies lead to "collective mental states of extreme emotional intensity, in which representation is still undifferentiated from the movements and actions which make the communion towards which it tends a reality to the group. Their participation in it is so effectively lived that it is not yet properly imagined" (pp. 465-472).

Verger (1954) recorded in photographs the ceremony of ritual death and rebirth in which participants who collapsed into the deep unawareness of transmarginal inhibition were sewn into shrouds, carried by tribesmen to the local cemetery, and returned thereafter to tribeswomen for rebirth by unsewing, revival, and succor as new persons. The choice of fertility symbols and behaviors of the participants indicate the powerful basis in sexuality of the ceremonies, which commonly become orgiastic.

There is no reason to doubt that these activities give great pleasure and catharsis to those caught up in the communal spirit of the events, and that immersion in dance is followed by a refreshed sense of belonging to the tribe. What is at issue is the extent to which feelings of bonding and formation of a neural basis for social cooperation might be engendered by the same neurochemical mechanisms that evolved to support sexual reproduction in altricial species like ourselves, and that might mediate religious, political, and social conversions, involving commitment of the self to a person as in transference, fraternity, military group, sports team, corporation, nation, or new deity. The common feature is formation of allegiance and trust.

Music as sound appeals to the ear, but making and appreciating it involve the entire body through the somatosensory and motor systems of the performer and the active audience (Clynes 1982). Dance on a stage appeals to the eye, but its real charm is found by participants who shape their movements into a living and evolving unity. The strongest basis for cooperation lies in rhythmically repeated motions, because they are predictable by others, and others can thereby anticipate and move in accord with their expectations. Music gives the background beat.

Biocultural Evolution of Music in Socializstion

Here in its purest form is a human technology for crossing the solipsistic gulf. It is wordless, illogical, deeply emotional, and selfless in its actualization of transient and then lasting harmony between individuals (Wilson 1992), and perhaps even among higher apes despite their lack of a sense of rhythm (Williams 1967). It constructs the sense of trust and predictability in each member of the community on which social interactions are based.

Dance alone does not suffice, but it is exemplary of the nature of wordless give-and-take cooperation by which are constructed channels for verbal communication. A significant discovery by our remote ancestors may have been the use of music and dance for bonding in groups larger than nuclear families.

According to Roederer (1984), who also proposed the utility of music for training in language skills, for understanding musical aspects of speech, and for signaling emotional states, ". . . the role of music in superstitious or sexual rites, religion, ideological proselytism, and military arousal clearly demonstrates the value of music as a means of establishing behavioral coherency in masses of people. In the distant past this would indeed have had an important survival value, as an increasingly complex human environment demanded coherent, collective actions on the part of groups of human society" (p. 356). That accomplishment may have accompanied or even preceded the invention of fire, tools and shelter, because the maintenance, development, and transmission across generations of information about techniques for working matter into useful forms must have required existence of channels to support social interactions. These channels form through emotional attachments, not logical debate.

Formation of a social group, such as a tribe, has its dark sides, one of which is formation of a bonndary, with exclusion of nonself from the self that constitutes the unity. Individuals who do not "belong" become enemies who are to be walled off, expelled, and possibly destroyed, if they are perccived as menacing the welfare of the group. The process is similar to sexual jealousy, which manifests the exclusionary nature of the pair bond. Internecine tribal warfare that is fueled by the unknown chemistry of hatred is just as illogical and selfless as bonding within a community. Outsiders are seen as objects or animals that are treated as tools or slaves. Biologists refer to the phenomenon in terms of nearest neighbor competitive inhibition, winner-take-all networks, and survival of the fittest. It may well be that wholesale extermination was the necessary price for the exceedingly rapid pace of human evolution over the past halfmillion years. Fortunately, our more recent ancestors discovered civilized alternatives to death-dealing, unrestricted warfare. Music and dance have close relatives in team sports, which are forms of ritualized combat, actions and reactions that are carefully choreographed toward symbolic goals, and which instill powerful feelings of identity not only in players as "team spirit" but in spectators who root for the teams.

Another dark side is the use of drugs (Fort 1969) such as wine, opium, and hallucinogenic mushrooms to induce the pleasurable subjective correlates of neurochemical bonding. Repeated dissolutive trances can result in derelicts like hermits, alcoholics, addicts, dropouts, zombies, and other marginalia of society. Prehistorical records compiled by Frazer (1890) in The Golden Bough and Graves (1948) in The White Goddess show how religious rites of the ancient world were imbued with neuroactive substances that may have facilitated destructive practices such as selfcastration and suicide, particularly quintessence that was embodied in alcohol. (The four essences of which the earth was made were air, earth, water, and fire. The heavens were made of ether, the fifth essence. Agents that altered the states of consciousness were interpreted as touching participants with the spiritual liquor.) The persistence of savage and asocial behavior appears to have led to the development of larger social structures, governments, academies, and universities through which to channel and control destructive side effects of orgiastic bonding. Shamans, priests, and church bureaucracies regulated the time, place, and manner of ceremonies with respect to stars and seasons. Chiefs, kings, and armies imposed constraints on tribes for the sake of peace and general welfare.

With the emergence of city states run by bureaucrats and academic intelligentsia, the Greeks relegated the Dionysian orgies to the lower classes (James 1993). Plato banned all music except the Lydian from his Academy in recognition of music's power to degrade rational minds and subvert social order. The Catholic Church in the Middle Ages labeled the Dionysian rituals as pagan and suppressed them to maintain political control, opening the way for Apollonian music (Nietzsche 1872) such as Gregorian chants. Close harmony provided for bonding of a different kind among intellectuals, stripped of its sexual overtones. Syncopation was forbidden. The "Devil's interval" was allegedly called that because God and the world could not exist between the beats. Physicians also used the medical term syncope to signify cessation of function in a transient loss of consciousness. The dialectic between Apollo and Dionysus reemerged in the Baroque, and it continues to infuse fresh energy into music through syncopation and atonality in jazz, blues, and rock-and-roll, which, through radio and television, are bonding yonng people in nations everywhere. They stand opposed to older generations; intentional bonding is always exclusionary.


I conclude that music and dance originated through biological evolution of brain chemistry, which interacted with the cultural evolution of behavior. This led to the development of chemical and behavioral technology for inducing altered states of consciousness.

The role of trance states was particularly important for breaking down preexisting habits and beliefs. That meltdown appears to be necessary for personality changes leading to the formation of social groups by cooperative action leading to trust.

Bonding is not simply a release of a neurochemical in an altered state. It is the social action of dancing and singing together that induces new forms of behavior, owing to the malleability that can come through the altered state.

It is reasonable to suppose that musical skills played a major role early in the evolution of human intellect, because they made possible formation of human societies as a prerequisite for the transmission of acquired knowledge across generations.

....musical skills played a major role early in the evolution of human intellect, because they made possible formation of human societies as a prerequisite for the transmission of acquired knowledge across generations.

HOME      BOE     SAL     TEXTE