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CHAPTER 1:
What Music REALLY Is, Who Makes It, Where, When, Why
  
1.3 Where Does Music Come From?

 
PAGE INDEX
  

1.3.1 Not out of Thin Air: Music Comes from Evolved Brain “Modules”

1.3.2 You Were Born with a Personality

1.3.3 Modules Ain’t Computers

1.3.4 Evidence for Brain Modularity

1.3.5 Where in the Brain? Music Modules in Infants

1.3.6 Where in the Brain? Modularity and Universal Musical Grammar

1.3.7 Where in the Brain? Lateralization in Animals and Humans

1.3.8 Where in the Brain? Lateralization and Music

1.3.9 Where in the Brain? Amusia

1.3.10 Where in the Brain? Modularity and Universal Linguistic Grammar

1.3.11 Where in the Brain? FOXP2 and MYH16

1.3.12 Where in the Brain? Aphasia

1.3.13 The Combinatorial Nature of Music and Language

1.3.14 How Plastic Is Your Brain?

1.3.15 Mentalese: Thinking Without Language

1.3.16 Animal Intelligence and Culture

1.3.17 Nowhere in the Brain: The “Blank Slate” Myth

1.3.18 Cultural Relativism

1.3.19 A Desert Island Thought Experiment

1.3.20 The Nonsense of Biological Determinism and Social Determinism

1.3.21 Human Universals

1.3.22 “The Genes Hold Culture on a Leash”

1.3.23 Inhuman Music of the Biologically Uninformed: Postmodernism

1.3.24 Musical Universals

1.3.25 How Much Is Music Innate, How Much Is it Culturally Acquired?

1.3.26 Where Is Music? Woven In the Fabric of Life Globally

 

~ • ~ • ~ • ~

 

1.3.1

NOT OUT OF THIN AIR: MUSIC COMES FROM EVOLVED BRAIN “MODULES


Some people believe music comes wafting magically out of thin air in the form of mysterious, disembodied “inspiration.” It then presumably lodges in the skull of the composer or songwriter, who feverishly jots it down or records it on a tiny digital device, and later claims, “It just came to me in a flash. I wrote the whole song in 23 seconds.”


     That’s where music seems to come from. But the musical inspiration you enjoy actually comes to you courtesy of the parallel processing that goes on in certain integrated “modules” within the fascinating neuro-computational organ located inside your head.


     Your brain processes music and also creates music.


     So, what’s a module?


     It’s a network of brain cells, a brain structure, that has evolved to carry out some specialized function. The Canadian cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker, in How the Mind Works, describes the mind as “what the brain does,” or, more specifically,

... not a single organ but a system of organs, which we can think of as psychological faculties or mental modules.

     Evidence from cognitive science, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology, and other disciplines points to the existence of numerous such brain structures. Possibly hundreds of them. A mental toolbox that enables you to survive and replicate your genes in your offspring.


     Consider your body’s architecture. You have many physical body parts, external and internal—hands, feet, lungs, heart, etc. You can easily identify numerous sub-parts as well: each of your hands has fingers, fingernails, knuckles, a thumb, palm, muscles, ligaments. Every normal human is born with these physical internal and external body parts.


     The same applies to your brain’s architecture. Even though you can’t see your brain’s modules, they’re as real, and as different from each other, as your hands and your liver. And, like the rest of your body parts, you have these brain structures at birth.


     All other humans on the planet are born with the same brain modules as you, just as they’re born with the same internal and external body parts that make all of us identifiably human. And that means, as discussed later in this chapter, humans show remarkable similarities in behaviour in every culture globally.


     Brain modules or faculties vary slightly from individual to individual, just as other body parts do. The feet you were born with, for example, have the same basic structure and anatomy as everybody else’s feet. While easily identifiable as “feet,” your feet vary slightly from everyone else’s; they’re identifiably yours.


     Same with the mental faculties or modules you were born with. While each one performs the same specialized function in every human brain, your modules vary slightly from everyone else’s. But, like your feet, your mental modules still perform in a recognizably human way. That’s why human culture shows so much similarity everywhere in the world. And that includes musical similarity, discussed in more detail later in this chapter.


 

Multiple Intelligences

 

What exactly is intelligence? Usually, it’s defined as the ability to understand, reason, and solve problems. So IQ tests focus on logical and verbal abilities.


However, according to the theory of multiple intelligences (controversial, but nonetheless intriguing because it jibes with evidence that the mind has evolved as a complex modular system), humans have other kinds of intelligence—interpersonal intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, visual intelligence, and so on. One of these is musical intelligence.


Most people excel at only one or two kinds of intelligence. For instance, if you’re gifted as a musician, and also have an outstanding ability to empathize, then you might have exceptional potential for writing songs—and yet score only average on a standard IQ test.



1.3.2

YOU WERE BORN WITH A PERSONALITY


The genetic code to build a head full of specialized modules evolved in response to selective pressure over millions of years. Being born with music-acquisition, language-acquisition and other skills and abilities already wired in your brain means you were born with a basic personality. You inherited it from your parents. But the personality you had at birth differed substantially from the personalities of your parents.


     Your modular brain structures are not completely developed, connected, and constructed at birth. That’s why it takes some time before you can talk and sing.


     The same applies to other aspects of your development. It takes several years before your permanent teeth come in. If you’re female, you don’t begin to develop breasts until puberty. If you’re male, you don’t grow facial hair until then. Nevertheless, at birth, you have the brain wiring in place for all this to happen.


     From childhood on, the surrounding culture shapes the personality you were born with, but does not replace it. The personality you have today owes its character partly to your genetic inheritance (perhaps half), and partly to your personal environment (perhaps half)—especially your peer group.


     (NOTE: This does not mean that your genetic inheritance causes 50% of your personality and your peer group causes the other 50%. Instead, it refers to observed variance in measures of personality and behaviour due to diversity among individuals in all kinds of areas related to upbringing, such as education, religion, leisure activities, and so on.)


     Genetic inheritance influences everyone’s behaviour today, as it always has. That is, no matter how “enculturated” we humans think we’ve become, we have not by any means “outgrown our genes”!

 


1.3.3

MODULES AIN’T COMPUTERS

 

At birth, your brain came equipped with numerous pre-wired adaptations—precisely the opposite of a “blank slate” (more on this a bit later). Your brain does not function like a “general-purpose computer” with a single processor. As an example of the inborn modular nature of the brain, consider the brain circuitry for modelling objects visually. It exists in the brains of all people at birth—even people born blind. That is, some people blind from birth can accurately draw objects in proper 3-D visual perspective, a skill they could not possibly learn from the surrounding culture. For example, a Turkish artist named Esref Armagan, who has been blind since birth, can paint realistic compositions of things he has never seen, with accurate three-point perspective and scale size.


     Your brain’s modular architecture does not resemble conventional computer design. Pinker again:

The word ‘module’ brings to mind detachable snap-in components, and that is misleading. Mental modules are not likely to be visible to the naked eye as circumscribed territories on the surface of the brain, like the flank steak and rump roast on the supermarket cow display. A mental module probably looks more like roadkill, sprawling messily over the bulges and crevasses of the brain. Or it may be broken into regions that are interconnected by fibers that make the regions act as a unit . . . the metaphor of the mental module is a bit clumsy; a better one is Noam Chomsky’s ‘mental organ.’

     If you own an ordinary desktop or notebook computer, it’s a serial computer that mimics a parallel computer. Unlike your brain, a computer processor executes only one instruction at a time. But it does its work so fast that it usually fools you into thinking it’s doing several things at once.


     That’s not how your brain works. Brain structures tend to evolve as specializations for various tasks, such as detecting danger, recognizing faces, protecting kin, mating, predicting the behaviour of others, and playing the harmonica for your horse.


     Taken together, your brain’s constituent modules do not function like a conventional computer. Nor like computer software. Nor like a mechanical clock. Rather, they connect up in vastly complex networks of neurons that communicate with each other and vie for your attention. Your brain is a massively parallel neural organ of computation, not a serial one. That is, unlike a small conventional human-made computer, your small conventional human brain processes information and interpretations using many different modules simultaneously. That’s why you can drive your car, drink coffee, talk on your cell phone, and run over a pedestrian, all at the same time. Try programming a computer to do that!



1.3.4

EVIDENCE FOR BRAIN MODULARITY


Where does the evidence of brain modularity come from?


     Studies of patients who have experienced brain lesions (structural changes in the brain) due to injury or disease reveal brain modularity. Many patients exhibit the same behavioural changes or deficits after suffering a brain lesion that occurs in the same physical area of the brain, often due to a stroke. Observations of the effects of injuries and diseases occurring in different parts of the brain have disclosed a number of modules.


     Another source is measurement and observation of brain activity using positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). These techniques reveal which specific parts of the brain are active during the performance of a mental or physical task. If, in many individuals, the same specific areas “light up” during the performance of the same task, it indicates a module or modules at work.


     Some other information sources that scientists in a variety of specialties use to investigate the functioning of the brain’s mental organs are:

 

        Observed effects of abnormalities in specific genes that implicate certain modules, such as the FOXP2 gene and language (discussed a bit later in this section)

 

        Observed effects of taking drugs that act on specific modules

 

        Optical and aural illusions that trigger conflicts between modules

 

        Studies of behaviour and abilities of newborns and pre-lingual infants—particularly useful in revealing the inborn, adaptive aspects of music

 

        Comparative studies of identical twins, fraternal twins, biological siblings, and adopted siblings

 

        Human behaviour studies that control for cultural variables (psychological experimentation)

 

        Findings from palaeontology—e.g., discovery of a 44,000-year-old bone flute at a Neanderthal site, indicating they had similar mental functioning in music as humans

 

        Findings from archaeology

 

        Studies of behaviour and learning in animals, especially our close primate cousins such as chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, gibbons.

 

        Genome data—e. g., chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans share more than 98% of the same genetic material


     The human brain took millions of years to evolve into an incredibly complex, powerful thing of beauty. Dissecting a cadaver’s brain provides no information about the workings of the living, functioning brain. And neurosurgeons cannot open up skulls of living humans simply to poke, prod, and probe through all the billions of tangled microscopic neurons, to see how everything works. So evolutionary psychologists and biologists can and do use data from the sources listed above to, in effect, reverse engineer the brain as best they can.

 


Myth of 10% Use of the Brain

 

Perhaps the source of this myth is that, at any given moment, you only use a fraction of your entire brain. But throughout the day, you do use all of it.


If you’re sitting down, you don’t need to use the modules required to get you walking or running. If you’re in a quiet room reading a book, you don’t need to use your music-processing modules.


Your brain functions pretty efficiently. So you don’t require the use of every module in your brain at every moment. Think of driving a car. You don’t use your car’s accelerator at every moment, nor the brakes, horn, radio, signal lights (some drivers never use them!), and so on.


You don’t use all of your brain all of the time, but you certainly do need all of the modules in your brain. You do use all of them. Otherwise, they would not have evolved in the first place.


Brain modules are adaptations—necessary units of biological function—that evolve in response to selective pressure.



1.3.5
W
HERE IN THE BRAIN? MUSIC MODULES IN INFANTS

 

If music were not a true adaptation, it would have had to have arisen only recently. However, the evidence indicates music probably predates our own species, Homo sapiens. That is, other hominid species, now extinct, had music, such as Homo neanderthalensis.


     As well, neurological evidence supports the hypothesis that modules for creating and processing music exist in the brain at birth.


     Setting aside lyrics for the moment and considering music only, most people think of the melody—the tune—as the essence of a piece of music.

 

        Harmony without melody or rhythm just doesn’t work.

 

        Rhythm without melody or harmony gets tiresome after a while due to something called habituation (discussed in later chapters).

 

        But you can create palatable music with melody only—no harmony or regular beat (e. g., background music in film and television).


     Infants perceive melodic patterns much as adults do. They respond to changes in melodic contour and changes in key like adults do, indicating genetic origins. Newborns have pre-wired neuronal circuitry to perceive:

 

        Melodic contour in both music and speech

 

        Consonant intervals (Chapter 4 goes into detail about intervals)

 

        Rhythmic patterns in both music and speech


     Pre-linguistic infants in all cultures can:

 

        Recognize changes in a melody

 

        Resolve tiny pitch differences (and small timing differences)

 

        Recognize the same melody even if speeded up or slowed down

 

        Recognize the same melody when transposed to a different key

 

        Perceive diatonic tunes more easily than non-diatonic tunes

        Perceive consonant intervals more easily than dissonant intervals

 

        Respond to their mothers’ melodious, song-like vocalizing to a much greater degree than their mothers’ speech vocalizing

 

        Adapt to the musical conventions of whatever society they’re born into


     (If you’re not familiar with some of the musical terminology above, all will be revealed in the next few chapters.)


     Culture modifies the expression of these predispositions, but the predispositions exist in the brain at birth (characteristic of adaptations).


     Babies worldwide spontaneously initiate musical sound-play. Young children are forever inventing games and rhythmic play. Adults do not teach them this stuff. In fact, children have difficulty separating rhythmic body movements from music and singing until age four or five. Next time you observe a preschooler having a musical experience, notice how he or she jumps around, claps and makes other rhythmic gestures.


1.3.6
W
HERE IN THE BRAIN? MODULARITY AND UNIVERSAL MUSICAL GRAMMAR  

... music can best be understood as a system of relationships between tones, just as language is a system of relationships between words.

—ANTHONY STORR

Groups of inter-connected modules for processing music probably developed independently over time. Separate sub-modules likely process tone duration, pitch, loudness, and timbre. Interestingly, lesion studies indicate that separate modules even process the closely-related elements, metre and rhythm.


     Pitch patterns that group hierarchically (discussed in Chapter 8) appear to form the basis of musical syntax (set of musically “grammatical” rules).


     Our brains have a genetically determined ability to create, learn, and process language, called “Universal Grammar,” one of Noam Chomsky’s seminal discoveries in linguistics. It appears that our brains also have a genetically determined specialization for music—a Universal Musical Grammar, according to Fred Lerdahl and Ray Jackendoff, who co-authored a classic book on the subject, inspired to a degree by the Polish music theorist Heinrich Schenker.


     However, just as people learn a specific language in childhood and don’t understand other languages without learning them, so people learn specific musical styles of their culture and don’t understand the musical styles of other cultures without learning them.


     On the other hand, musical universals bespeak the genetic underpinnings of all music (musical universals are listed a bit later). If you make music that breaks the brain’s inborn rules, regardless of culture, the music you make will likely not appeal to more than a handful of humans.


     If you play recordings of bird songs of different species to young songbirds raised in captivity, they will only learn the songs of their own species, evidence of genetic origins. Blackbirds in captivity, no matter how much loving care and patient training they receive, stubbornly refuse to learn the Lennon-McCartney tune “Blackbird,” because a blackbird did not write the song.


     The same appears to apply to human infants. Human babies recognize and learn speech and melodies characteristic of the human species, rather than a particular culture. If you learn two languages in childhood, you’ll learn both effortlessly and speak both without an accent as an adult. But if you learn one language in childhood and a second language as an adult, you will learn the first language effortlessly and speak it without an accent, and the second only with considerable effort, which you will speak with an accent.


     Since all of the world’s musics share a set of universals, like languages, it’s likely that this phenomenon applies to musical cultures. Suppose you have grown up learning the tonal system of the West, with little exposure to the tonal system of, say, India. And suppose, as an adult, you decide to move to India and learn to play the sitar. You’ll probably find yourself expending considerable effort to learn what young Indian sitar players seem to learn effortlessly. And, after some years of training, you will likely play the instrument “with an accent,” so to speak, compared with native-born players of your age and musical experience. (Try it!)



1.3.7

WHERE IN THE BRAIN? LATERALIZATION IN ANIMALS AND HUMANS

 

Brain lateralization refers to the location of neuronal circuitry for specific skills and behaviours in either the left or the right hemisphere of the brain. Handedness reveals brain lateralization, or lack of it, in a clear way. In most species, handedness—favouring the right or left hand, hoof, wing, paw—is non-committal. You’ll find left- and right-handedness equally distributed in chimpanzees and other apes, for example. A few animals other than humans have pronounced handedness, such as the walrus, of all creatures.


     Humans manifest extremely specialized right-handedness, reflecting the importance of left-brain sequencing and left-brain language adaptations (i.e., humans probably communicated symbolically with hand gestures before, and during the process of, converting to symbolic spoken language).


     Brain lateralization in humans may have resulted from growing numbers and complexities of modular specializations competing for space as the brain swelled in size in response to selective pressure to cope with larger and more complex human social organization. Something related to the social nature of humans drove the huge expansion of the brain. It could well have been either music or language.


     The left hemisphere tries to solve problems and processes sequential patterns, including language. It’s also active in positive emotional processing.

 


Why Mom Holds Baby on the Left

 

Why does Mom hold baby with baby’s head on Mom’s left side? It’s not because of a connection the baby feels with Mom’s heartbeat. And it also has nothing to do with right-handedness versus left-handedness. Left-handed mothers also tend to hold their babies on the left.


It has to do with brain specialization for emotional processing. As you know, the brain’s right hemisphere connects to left body functions, and vice-versa. The right hemisphere is active in negative-emotion processing (fear, sadness). So the right hemisphere of Mom’s brain (and Dad’s brain, too), wired to her left field of vision and hearing, can more sensitively attune to her infant’s negative emotional signals, enabling Mom to take action accordingly. Baby can’t talk yet, so mother-child communication is necessarily completely emotional.

 

By the way, this is why, when you’re talking to someone, you look at their right eye (your left field of vision), not their left eye.



     The brain has roughly 10 billion neurons (nerve cells). Although women have smaller brains than men, women’s brains have significantly more neurons per unit of cortex than men’s brains (up to 12% more). And women’s brains have a somewhat different organizational architecture than men’s brains. In any case, sheer brain size doesn’t seem to matter much in humans. Albert Einstein’s brain weighed less than the average adult male brain.


     The overall architecture of your brain mimics the architecture of the rest of your body: a mirror-image pair of everything on each side, but only one of the things in the middle. You have one corpus callosum, the main bundle of nerves (there are others) that connects the left and right hemispheres. If you’re a woman, your corpus callosum is quite a bit larger than it is in the brain of a man. This may account for the superior ability of women to reconcile conflicting left-right brain analyses of situations.


     The female brain is significantly less lateralized than the male brain. Functional modules are more globally distributed.


     Female and male humans have different attitudes and behave differently because of differences in evolved brain functions, wired-in from birth (more on this later in the chapter). Apparently, this fact still stirs controversy.



1.3.8

WHERE IN THE BRAIN? LATERALIZATION AND MUSIC

 

The common belief that the right hemisphere processes music and the left processes language does not hold up.


     If Doc Yada-Yadams, a fully qualified neurosurgeon, were to sedate the left hemisphere of your brain (don’t try this at home), you would likely be able to sing a song (i.e., melody with words), but would not be able to speak. If the Doc sedated your right hemisphere, you would be able to speak, but not sing.


     Language and music “time-share” many characteristics in both hemispheres. Singing tends to be more right-hemisphere, with speech more left-hemisphere. Both the left and right hemispheres appear to process pitch intervals.


     Most people have a preferred listening ear, usually the right ear, which is connected to the speech-processing left hemisphere. When you answer the phone, you usually use your right ear.


     In male musicians, music shows much more lateralized processing in the brain, compared with female musicians.


     As for modularity, whether they’re in the right, left, or both hemispheres, separate modules apparently process the time-based elements of music (meter, rhythm), compared with the melodic elements (pitch, intervals). No one knows exactly how many modules do the work.


     Professional musicians show left-hemisphere dominance for music, amateurs right hemisphere, probably because trained musicians approach music more analytically. As well, highly skilled musicians appear to use a significantly larger proportion of the brain in processing music than do people who listen to music but don’t play.


     In broad terms, the evidence on brain lateralization in music processing indicates the following (Table 1):

 



TABLE 1  Brain Lateralization In Music Processing


Left hemisphere (connected to

right ear and right side of body) processes:

  • Time-based elements of music (rhythm) using sequence-processing modules

     

  • Rhythmic aspects of melody

     

  • Rapidly-changing information such as speech—sequences of words.

 

Right hemisphere (connected to

left ear & left side of body) processes:

  • Pitch-based elements such as the shape of a melody (melodic contour) and tonal patterns

  • Harmony; the right hemisphere is better at spatial cognition; in a sense, the right hemisphere processes pitch and harmony as “spatial” elements of sound

  • The emotional tone of voice (via the left ear, which is connected to the right hemisphere) better than the left hemisphere

 


 

Brain Lateralization and Music Mixing

Record producers and recording engineers, if they know what they’re doing, take into account brain lateralization in producing a stereo mix:

  • Rhythm-heavy tracks sound more natural if biassed a little to the right speaker (right ear; left brain hemisphere).
      

  • Harmony-rich tracks sound better if biassed a little to the left speaker (left ear; right brain hemisphere).
      

  • Tracks requiring both melodic and rhythmic processing, such as lead vocals (including rapping, which has a lot of melodic content), sound better in the middle.
      

  • If lyric intelligibility is a problem, right-speaker bias may help, as the right ear is connected to the speech- and sequence-processing left hemisphere.


1.3.9
W
HERE IN THE BRAIN? AMUSIA

Some may say that I couldn’t sing, but no one can say that I didn’t sing.

  —FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS,

arguably one of the world’s worst singers

Amusia is the scientific term for what most people call tone deafness and other “musical brain” disorders. It refers to any of several disorders that result in loss of ability to create music, or to perceive and understand music (or both).


     Sometimes brain trauma causes amusia. Sometimes disease triggers it. Sometimes it’s congenital. If you have congenital amusia, you’re born without the normal brain wiring to process pitch and rhythm. Consequently you can’t sing in tune or tap in time with a steady beat (you can’t entrain). Amusia is not common, believed to affect only about 5% of the population. Florence Foster Jenkins may have had congenital amusia.


     Stroke victims develop acquired or receptive amusia if they suffer brain damage to modules that process music. If you develop amusia this way, you can recognize the lyrics of a song you had known before you acquired amusia—but only when somebody speaks the lyrics to you. If they sing the lyrics, you can no longer recognize the tune. You have a hard time grasping or perceiving music. You can’t follow a melody, identify the sounds of various musical instruments, or make sense of chords.


     Expressive amusia refers to the inability to create music by singing in tune, or entrain to an external source of music by tapping in time. However, if you have expressive amusia, you can usually still enjoy and understand music, and even remember tunes.



1.3.10
W
HERE IN THE BRAIN? MODULARITY AND UNIVERSAL LINGUISTIC GRAMMAR

... the ability to acquire and use language is a species-specific human activity.

—NOAM CHOMSKY

Since this book deals with lyrics (Chapter 10) as well as music, it’s fitting right about now to have a quick look at the whereabouts and identity of language in the brain.


     In the 1950s, the American linguist Noam Chomsky proposed that language was located as a module or system of modules in the brain. Turns out he was right. His work was a turning point in the cognitive revolution and the downfall of behaviourism, the doctrine that humans have blank-slate brains at birth.


     According to Chomsky, a generative grammar—a set of language rules—is encoded in the neuronal architecture of the brain, and is present at birth. Brain wiring for generative grammar makes it possible for young children to automatically become fluent in any language they are exposed to, effortlessly, and without the need for adult teaching. Literacy has nothing to do with language learning. Illiterate people worldwide have no difficulty communicating orally at the same grammatical level as those around them.


     If you were born in Dodge City but raised from infancy in the Canadian Arctic, you would grow up speaking Inuktitut. If you were born an Inuit in the far north but raised from infancy in Dodge, you would speak English, grow luxuriant flowing hair, and sing Classic Western songs about lost love and horses. With a Kansas accent.


     Unlike your vocabulary, you don’t have to learn your “mental grammar,” as it’s called. You were born with it. That’s why, long before you started school, you already knew the difference between, “Mommy plays the piano,” and “The piano plays Mommy,” even though both sentences use the same four words. Universal Grammar means your brain automatically rejects patterns such as these:


     Plays piano the Mommy

     Piano the Mommy plays

     The plays Mommy piano

     Piano Mommy plays the


and so on. Your brain has evolved the miraculous capacity to automatically distinguish a “thing” (noun) from an “action” (verb) from a “qualifier” (adjective, adverb, determiner). So, even if you never go to school and learn so-called “proper grammar,” you will speak in grammatically correct sentences, indistinguishable from the sentences spoken by others in your society who have had the benefit of a formal education. “Proper grammar” is built into your brain.


     Chomsky’s generative grammar theory has had an enormous impact in all of the cognitive sciences (i.e., sciences concerned with perception, intelligence, learning, and other aspects of mental function), not just the specialties relating to language. Scientists have since discovered many other modular adaptations throughout the brain.


     Every language in the world has the same design features. That is, although languages seem to have completely different syntaxes (grammatical rules), close analysis shows that all languages share the same deep structure. For example, all languages have verbs and nouns and either a subject-object or object-subject order.


     Since people of many cultures create languages independently, this means the capacity for acquiring and using language must have a genetic basis. Language appears to have its own neural architecture, or set of modules and sub-modules. These modules operate independently of other cognitive functions such as perception, reasoning, and knowledge-acquisition.


     The brain has the innate capacity to easily store words and their meanings, as well as the rules or patterns that recognize word types and word orders (i. e., grammar). Our mental dictionary and our mental grammar, while independent, work together in the parallel-processing neural organ of computation that is the human brain.


     Dramatic evidence supporting the theory that the ability to create languages from scratch is pre-wired in the brain at birth comes from studies of sign languages in two widely separated populations of deaf people, one in Israel, the other in Nicaragua. In these two populations, people created new languages from scratch, languages that could not possibly have been transmitted culturally. Linguists discovered that both languages function by the same grammatical rules as languages worldwide. The only difference is the channel of transmission of meaning—via signing instead of speaking.


     Although selective pressure drove evolution of the brain adaptation for spoken language, which all humans use today, the same does not, apply to written language, which only some humans have. To acquire written language, you have to learn it, because it’s a technological development, not an adaptation. (Written language emerged from idiographic representations of spoken language.)


 

The Stroop Effect: Modules in Conflict

 

Your brain’s many modules are specialized to perform different tasks. The Stroop effect demonstrates how the information arising from the processing of different modules can cause interference.


Here are 25 words. Time yourself reading the words aloud, left to right, line by line, without errors: “grey, black, white,” etc.


 

Now time yourself reading the COLOR of each of the 25 words aloud, left to right, line by line. For example, the first three words would be “black, white, grey.” Not so easy this time—it takes considerably longer.


How come?


The American psychologist John Ridley Stroop devised this test in the 1930s to demonstrate the interference effect your brain experiences when linguistic information conflicts with information from other senses.


When you ignore color and simply read the words, you only need to use your language processing system, so it’s easy to say each word aloud. But when you try to say the color of each word, your brain’s executive system discerns a conflict between what your color processing modules are telling you and what your language processing modules are telling you about the meanings of the words associated with the colors. Two different kinds of information are entangled.


To sort out the conflicting information, you have to first suppress the meaning of each word normally associated with the sequence of letters. This takes some effort. Then you have to translate the color of each group of letters into the word with the meaning that matches the color. Only then can you say the correct word.

 



     Primates such as gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos do not develop any kind of language-like communication system in the wild. They lack the language brain modules that humans are born with. However, in captivity, with much time and effort, trainers can get them to understand, in a rudimentary way, that arbitrary symbols represent objects. Apes can also “learn” elementary grammar-like rules, such as linking two symbols representing something different from either of the individual symbols. With about 30 years of patient training, a great ape can memorize a couple of hundred word meanings, and can almost acquire the language understanding of an 18-month-old human child. Bonobos fare somewhat better at “language learning” than chimpanzees.



1.3.11

WHERE IN THE BRAIN? FOXP2 AND MYH16

 

In 1990, Steven Pinker hypothesized that language evolved in humans by conventional Darwinian natural selection (section 1.5 discusses natural selection). Chomsky, who first described brain-based universal grammar, did not go that far. Twelve years later, in 2002, a team of German and British geneticists published genetic evidence strongly supporting Pinker. They discovered that a particular gene, FOXP2, plays a vital role in processing speech and grammar.


     FOXP2 exists in other primates such as the chimpanzee, but the human form of the gene differs. The human form may have appeared 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. Communication by language gradually replaced communication by gesture. Language was the breakthrough technology that resulted in symbolic thinking and the cultural explosion that defines what it is to be human.


     If you happen to be born with abnormal human FOXP2, you will suffer from severe language impairment. That means that the normal human form is a naturally selected mutation, a “target of natural selection.” (A mutation is a randomly occurring change in the gene, resulting in a change in physiology or anatomy or even behaviour.) And that strongly indicates that the innate human capacity for effortless language learning is an adaptation, the product of Darwinian natural selection.


     About two million years ago, the hominid brain suddenly (in glacial evolutionary terms) began to get larger and larger, a process called encephalation. This did not occur in any of the other large primates, such as chimpanzees and gorillas. A mutation occurred in hominids around that time, a mutation that may have made encephalation possible.


     A gene called MYH16, active in chimpanzees, ensures huge jaw muscle build-up, necessary for powerful chewing. These muscles constrict the skull, something like bungee cords, preventing growth in cranial capacity. In hominids, a mutation appeared that deactivated MYH16. This may have freed the hominid skull to expand. And expand it did, tripling in size over the next 2 million years. To this day, chimpanzees still have the active version of MYH16 and comparatively small skulls. All humans have the deactivated human mutation of MYH16 and comparatively huge skulls.


 




1.3.12

WHERE IN THE BRAIN? APHASIA

 

Aphasia is the language equivalent of amusia, discussed a bit earlier. Aphasia refers to any of several disorders that result in loss of ability to communicate in speech or writing (or both). There are two main types:



1. Broca’s aphasia (also called expressive aphasia):

 

        If you have a stroke or otherwise suffer damage to a specific area of the left hemisphere called Broca’s area, you will have difficulty speaking. However, the content of what you’re saying, slow and disjointed as it may come out, will make sense.

 

        Interestingly, if you have Broca’s aphasia, you will have great difficulty reciting or speaking the words of a song you had learned before developing aphasia, but will usually be able to sing the words fluently.



2. Wernicke’s aphasia (also called fluent aphasia):

 

        If you have a stroke or otherwise suffer damage to an area of the left hemisphere called Wernicke’s area, you will be able to speak fluently, but the content of what you’re saying will not make sense.

 


1.3.13
T
HE COMBINATORIAL NATURE OF MUSIC AND LANGUAGE

 

Chomsky pointed out the following:

 

        Pretty much every sentence that everyone utters is a different combination of words, never heard before.

 

        That means it’s impossible to store all sentences in the brain.

 

        That means the brain must have a mechanism for putting words together in a meaningful way.

 

        That means the brain can tell the difference between a group of words that makes sense, and a group of words that pickles without lamented occidental Custer’s stapler.


     Here’s how Steven Pinker describes the combinatorial nature of the brain’s language module:

A finite number of discrete elements (in this case, words) are sampled, combined, and permuted to create larger structures (in this case, sentences) with properties that are quite distinct from those of their elements. For example, the meaning of Man bites dog is different from the meaning of the same words combined in reverse order.

     It’s possible, therefore, to construct a practically infinite number of sentences with a relatively limited vocabulary.


     The same applies to music:

 

        A scale has a finite number of different pitches.

 

        Each pitch can last for a finite number of different time values.

 

        Each pitch can be combined with a finite number of other pitches to create a finite number of intervals and chords. And so on.


     Even though each type of musical property (melody, harmony, rhythm) has a finite number of elements, when you multiply out all the possibilities, you get a practically infinite number of possible tunes a songwriter could write. That’s what combinatorial means.

 

        Chomsky’s universal generative linguistic grammar describes the brain’s ability to compile an inventory of words and apply a set of combinatorial rules.

 

        Lerdahl and Jackendoff’s universal generative musical grammar describes the brain’s ability to compile an inventory of tones and apply a set of combinatorial rules.


     The whole human brain is a combinatorial system, a parallel-processing neural organ of computation. Using mentalese (described below), a discrete number of mental symbols can be combined and recombined, using as many modules and sub-modules as necessary. In other words, humans have the ability to think up, or imagine, an almost infinite number of possibilities, because thought is itself combinatorial. That’s why behaviour is infinitely variable.


     Both music and language use small numbers of elements to generate an infinite number of combinations of word phrases and musical phrases. Therefore, it’s likely that the brain function of combinatoriality evolved before the evolution of separate music and language specialties.


 

The Genetic Code Is Like Language

 

The genetic code, like language, is combinatorial. That’s why every bacterium, plant and creature is genetically different, even within the same species, and even though each uses the same 64 three-letter DNA “words.”


Here are some analogies between language and the genetic code:



Language

Genetic Code

LETTERS

26 letters (symbols), A, B, C, etc.

NUCLEOTIDES

4 nucleotides: cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine

WORDS

A word consists of one or more letters. Thousands of words are in a dictionary. Speech and written documents are comprised of words from the dictionary.

CODONS

A codon consists of three adjacent nucleotides. 64 codons form the genetic dictionary. All living things use the same 64-codon dictionary.

SENTENCES

Sequences of words are called sentences or lines of poetry, etc. They code meaningful representations of thought.

GENES

Sequences of codons—strands of DNA—are called genes. They code chains of amino acid molecules called proteins, which comprise various body parts.

CHAPTERS

Many sentences form a larger unit called a chapter.

CHROMOSOMES

Many genes form a long strand of DNA called a chromosome.

BOOK

All of the chapters containing all of the sentences form a book—perhaps 10,000 sentences.

GENOME

All of the chromosomes, containing all of the genes, form the genome of the organism. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, one member of each pair from each parent. The human genome consists of some 20,000 to 25,000 genes.



The fact that all life on earth is based on the same 64-codon DNA dictionary makes it a virtual certainty that all life, all microbes, plants, and animals that have ever existed—dinosaurs, oysters, apple trees, sharks, daffodils, rats, chimpanzees, and humans—evolved from the same single molecular strand, a monad (first simple organism) that fused, through natural chemical mechanisms, from non-living molecules nearly 4 billion years ago.



1.3.14

HOW PLASTIC IS YOUR BRAIN?

 

The human brain exhibits some degree of plasticity. For example, a young child who trains as a pianist experiences some modification in the cortex as a result of that musical training.


     While your brain is in some measure, “adapted to adapt,” plasticity does not mean your brain consists of a lot of generalized matter that can do pretty much anything. Plasticity simply means a module can take on some functioning for which it was not specifically adapted, provided that functioning relates to what the module would ordinarily do.


     Cross-modal plasticity refers to the ability of your brain’s modules to reorganize themselves somewhat to take advantage of cortical modules not being used due to sensory loss. For example, loss or absence of vision can stimulate some brain module reorganization, enhancing a blind person’s sense of pitch and direction. Blind individuals often have extraordinary musical skills.


     The effect of plasticity is much more evident in childhood. In blind people, pitch discrimination (the ability to judge the direction of extremely rapid pitch change) is much keener than in sighted people, especially if the individual became blind before the age of two. Its easier to learn to play a musical instrument or to speak more than one language in childhood because the brain is receptive to applying it’s built-in music and language processing modules to any language and any musical culture during childhood. After a period of time, called the critical period, plasticity diminishes sharply as the various modules become fully functional. If you don’t learn early, your brain is pre-wired to move on to the next stage, and you lose the window of opportunity.



1.3.15

MENTALESE: THINKING WITHOUT LANGUAGE

 

Contrary to popular mythology, the language you speak does not mould or shape the way you think. An Arabic-speaking person, for example, does not “think differently” from the way an English-speaking person thinks.


     You do not even need language to think.


     Humans (and other animals) use a “brain language,” the language of thought, usually called mentalese. If thoughts depended on words, nobody would be able to translate anything from one language to another. The words of the French language do not all have exact equivalents in, say, English. The translation, then, is thought for thought, not word for word. The translator uses mentalese to make decisions on how to structure the thoughts across the languages.


     You, like everybody, sometimes have problems putting thoughts into words. That’s not because your thoughts don’t exist; of course they do. Putting them into words means translating mentalese into language. That can be a chore.


     When you finish reading this chapter of this book, you might remember only one or two of the specific sentences. But that does not mean you will have forgotten the content of the chapter (unless you haven’t been paying attention). What you will remember is the gist of this chapter. You will easily be able give your friends a fairly detailed oral summary of the chapter (and urge them in the strongest possible terms to buy this interesting and highly informative book), but you will not likely use any of the exact sentences you read in this chapter, because you won’t remember them.


     You will remember the gist of this chapter in mentalese, the language of thought. The same applies to other experiences you have, such as seeing a movie or attending a party. Not only do you absorb the gist of the story line as revealed in the dialogue of the movie (or conversations you had at the party), but you also remember information that other modules have captured during the experience, such as the visual and auditory elements. Later, you can describe not only the gist of the dialogue, but also the gist of the visual setting, the soundscape, and how the experience made you feel emotionally. Mentalese captures the gist of all of this. You don’t store all of it permanently, of course; memories fade over time. Chapter 7 discusses the various types and functions of memory.


     Similarly, you can identify a familiar piece of music, even though you hear it in a completely transformed arrangement, played with unfamiliar instruments. You recognize the unfamiliar rendition because you retain the gist of it. For example, you can recognize “My Favourite Things” from The Sound of Music even if it’s played in a jazz arrangement you’ve never heard before. By John Coltrane.


     Humans, of all the animal species on this planet, have the largest brain proportion comprised of neocortex (80% of the whole brain). However other animals also have a neocortex brain part, which means they, too, think—even though they don’t have language. Your dog thinks. Your horse thinks. The mountain lion that has been tracking you and your horse thinks. She thinks (translated from mentalese), “Easy dinner or what?”



1.3.16

ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE AND CULTURE

 

Evolutionary conservation means that, even after a species splits into two species (then splits again and again) due to environmental selective pressures that differ in geographically separated populations, many traits continue on in each species. For example, we humans share most of our genetic material with chimpanzees and bonobos, and we also share many chimpanzee and bonobo behavioural traits, even though the last common ancestor of apes and humans lived some six or seven million years ago.


     All species, including humans, evolved from a common ancestor. So it’s not surprising to find examples of human-like “mindfulness” in species other than humans. Lots of species make tools spontaneously, without any instruction from other adults of their species (or humans). Some species can learn to make tools, as well (cultural transmission).


     Animals don’t compose human-like music, and few appreciate Coltrane, Joni Mitchell, or the harmonica music that comes wafting out of nowhere when Marshal McDillon, Deputy Fester, and Ms Puma are sitting around the campfire roasting squirrels. However, some animals have recognizable cultural traits.

     A few examples:

 

        Monkeys and apes in captivity, including chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and capuchin monkeys, like to paint pictures. Some can produce recognizable shapes such as crosses, circles, and non-random patterns.

 

        Dogs can learn word meanings after a single exposure (called fast mapping, which is how children pick up vocabulary so quickly) and fetch specific objects from verbal commands only.

 

        Chimps, bonobos, and gorillas, with a lot of training, can learn to associate some words with some objects. (However, they don’t even begin to “get” the symbolic essence of language.)

 

        Capuchin monkeys can learn to use money. Male capuchins even purchase sex with money.

 

        Ravens and apes deliberately cheat or fool each other when it’s advantageous.

 

        Chimpanzees use tools and teach tool-making and tool-use to other chimpanzees.

 

        Crows make and use tools without being taught by other crows or by humans.

 

        Male zebra finches are aware of the social relationships of others of their species, and modify their relationships with females accordingly.

 

        Baboons can transmit local baboon cultural practices to outsider baboons who join the troop.

 

        If you whisper the right things in your horse’s ear, you can lead him to water and make him float on his back.



1.3.17

NOWHERE IN THE BRAIN: THE “BLANK SLATE” MYTH

Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief, and yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.

—JOHN WATSON, father of behaviourism

In the first half of the 20th Century, and well into the second half, a school of thought called behaviourism taught, wrongly, that

 

        Humans are born with “blank slate” brains, and

 

         Everything we learn comes from the punishments and rewards we receive from the environment.


     Behaviourists conveniently forgot to explain how a blank slate brain could actually learn anything: a truly blank slate would have no mechanism for learning. If the brain were a blank slate at birth, you would not be able to learn either language or music.


     According to behaviorists, observing behaviour from the outside, via stimulus and response, was the only valid way to proceed in psychology. Behaviourists believed that biology controlled animals, but culture controlled people. Presumably, behaviourists did not consider people to be animals.


     (Perhaps the Jesuits invented behaviourism, as evidenced in their oft-quoted myth: “Give me the child until the age of seven, and I will give you the man.”)


     Many people still believe in behaviourism, even in the face of mountains of evidence supporting the existence, at birth, of a wide variety of naturally selected brain adaptations such as those for the acquisition of language and music. Some academics even teach that cultural evolution has superceded biological evolution.


     For example, even today, “social constructionists” cling to the Standard Social Science Model, the dogma that biology doesn’t matter. In the minds of social constructionists, a biological trait such as the state of being male or female—your gender—arises somehow through the prevailing culture’s “social construction.” That is, social constructionists actually believe you are not born male or female, you “learn” your gender, and you “learn” your sexual orientation.


     This makes about as much sense as insisting people are born with “blank slate” bodies. At birth, humans have a head (containing a blank slate brain, of course) that’s attached to a formless blank slate body. A blob. When you’re born, presumably, the attending obstetrician or midwife begins to shape you—a blob—into a torso, then arms and legs and fingers and toes. Others in the social environment join in, shaping other bits of you-the-blob into your heart and lungs and, let’s not forget, your naughty bits. Over the years, society colonizes and socially constructs your blank slate brain and teaches you what gender you are ...


     Thinking about the brain and behaviour has changed since the days of the behaviourists, as summarized by the cognitive neuroscientist, Michael S. Gazzaniga:

No scientist seriously questions whether we are the product of natural selection. We are a finely honed machine that has amazing capacities for learning and inventiveness. Yet these capacities were not picked up at a local bookstore or developed from everyday experience. The abilities to learn and think come with our brains. The knowledge we acquire with these devices results from interactions with our culture. But the devices come with the brain, just as the brakes come with the car.

 

1.3.18

CULTURAL RELATIVISM


Believers in the Standard Social Science Model refuse to make value judgments about anything that goes on in a culture other than their own. This is called cultural relativism or the relativistic fallacy. It’s really moral relativism, although believers in cultural relativism deny it.


     According to cultural relativism, all cultures are “equal.” So you must not condemn the practices of any culture other than your own. Practices such as barring women from positions of social, political, or religious power. Banning music. Arranging and forcing marriages between three-year-old children. Ostracising, torturing, or executing homosexuals. Cultural relativists insist that, if you’re an outsider, you have no business criticizing such cultural practices. If you do, you’re an intolerant, ethnocentric racist bigot.


     Cultural relativists assume, contrary to empirical evidence, that:

 

     1.  Culture creates the individual instead of the other way around, and

 

     2.  People do not have shared cultural values, the same biologically-driven wants, needs, and aspirations everywhere in the world, regardless of culture.


     Cultural relativists simply deny, in the face of all evidence, that there’s any such thing as human nature—a large group of inborn behavioural traits that are common to people of all cultures. According to cultural relativists, everything’s political. Everything’s subjective. There’s no such thing as an objective fact.


     The implication of cultural relativism is that universal, inborn ethical or moral standards do not exist. Cultural relativism is based on the mistaken notion that people learn morality and therefore you ought to expect people in different cultures to have different senses of morality.


     The evidence, however, indicates every normal member of the human species is born with an evolved moral sense. Morality is not something you acquire from your culture. You don’t learn morality from your Mom or by attending your local church, mosque, or synagogue. Atheists, agnostics, and orphans behave just as morally as everybody else in society.



1.3.19

A DESERT ISLAND THOUGHT EXPERIMENT

 

Consider what would happen in the following hypothetical situation, proposed by the anthropologist, Robin Fox.


     Suppose a population of children were to find itself in total social isolation, having to raise themselves, without ever having had any contact with adults and a pre-existing culture. No previous enculturation whatsoever. Impossible in real life, of course, because we humans need others to feed and nurture us for a long time until we become self-sustaining. But this is only a thought experiment— nobody will die of starvation or exposure.


     What would happen? Because humans have inborn brain adaptations, including adaptations for language and music, the individuals making up this hypothetical culture-free society would create culture, just as individual humans create culture everywhere in the world. The society would, among other things:

 

        Generate a language

 

        Have music

 

        Have dancing

 

        Create a legal system

 

        Create the institution of marriage

 

        Create systems of social status

 

        Proclaim and enforce taboos, such as the incest taboo

 

        Create some sort of religious faith, complete with ceremony and ritual

 

        Make and use tools and weapons

 

        Exclude women from various practices and institutions

 

        Have homosexual citizens

 

        Find itself inventing ways of coping with adultery, murder, suicide, psychosis, etc.



1.3.20

THE NONSENSE OF BIOLOGICAL DETERMINISM AND SOCIAL DETERMINISM

 

People who don’t understand what evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology are about fear they might be about biological determinism, the doctrine that your genes determine 100% of your abilities and behaviour, summoning ugly spectres of racism, eugenics, social Darwinism, and the like.


     The scientific evidence does not support biological determinism, and no sane biologist embraces the concept. Its opposite, social determinism, the doctrine that society alone socially constructs 100% of your abilities and behaviour, also has no scientific support.


     Evolutionary biology and psychology seek to understand what humans have in common as a species, not how we differ as individuals. This means taking into account the interactions between our biological adaptations and our cultural environment. Evolution by conventional Darwinian natural selection created humans and all other living things on earth, past and present. Therefore, genetically inherited predispositions influence human behaviour as much as learning and cultural influences. Both genes and culture matter.


     Moreover, you have the ability to override your genetically programmed inclinations. You have free will. For example, you can live and work in tall buildings with floor-to-ceiling windows, overriding your genetically inherited fear of heights. You can ride in an elevator despite natural claustrophobia.


     The ability to override genetically inherited predispositions invalidates excuses, such as:

 

        I smashed that other guy’s car with a tire iron in a fit of road rage because, as a human male, I’m naturally aggressive.

 

        I can’t become a physicist because, as a human female, I’m not supposed to be good at math.

 

        I keep having affairs because, as a naturally polygynous human male, I just have to sow my wild oats.

 

        I eat wild oats from the nosebags of other horses because, as a horse instead of a human, I have no evolved ethical sense, only horse sense.

 


Social Darwinism: Spin-doctoring Science

 

Social Darwinism is the notion that the same principle of natural selection that applies to biological evolution extends to individual and group behaviour—even though no evidence supports any such extension.


Political and social thinkers of the late 19th Century concocted the idea of social Darwinism: superior social and racial classes and systems succeed and survive, while inferior social and racial classes and systems fail and ought to die out. So, for example, you should not help sick or disabled people because if you did, you would interfere with the natural process of evolution. Social Darwinism was used to justify imperialism, racism, eugenics, and genocide.


Darwin himself never made any claims that natural selection applied to anything other than biological evolution. Nor do today’s evolutionary biologists.



1.3.21

HUMAN UNIVERSALS

 

Humans have so many naturally-selected behavioural characteristics in common, regardless of culture, that the anthropologist Donald E. Brown documented hundreds of them in a book, Human Universals. These include musical universals, coming up in a few minutes.


     Brown describes the human species as Universal People, a nod to Chomsky’s Universal Grammar. Here are a few from Brown’s and others’ compilations of human universals, the things you find in all cultures worldwide (Table 2):




TABLE 2  A Small Sampling of Human Universals




     These are only a few that Brown (and others) have documented. Brown’s book lists many more. These traits exist in every culture, however separated geographically and historically. Obviously, such commonality of characteristics could not have emerged independently everywhere in humanity without genetic foundations—an evolved basic human nature.



1.3.22

“THE GENES HOLD CULTURE ON A LEASH

 

Does culture, including music and language, create human behaviour, or does human behaviour create culture?


     Culture is what we learn from each other. It applies to both humans and to non-human animals that have culture (and many do).


     But where does human culture come from in the first place?


     According to outmoded, biologically-unsupported thinking:

 

        Human babies are formless blank slates at birth.

 

        Therefore human culture comes from the “outside.”

 

        Culture completely creates the human individual; the individual is the “product” of his or her culture.

 

        Cultural or social transformation can change the essential nature of people (this is precisely what ideologues, such as a political and religious extremists, aim to do).


     In other words, according to this line of thinking, culture creates and controls people.


     The evidence paints a far different picture. All culture, including music, is biological in origin because culture originates, ultimately, in human brains, and manifests amazing similarity worldwide. What we humans think, what we know, and how we behave comes partly from our genetic inheritance, and partly from what we learn (using our brains) from the people we personally associate with, and the cultural artifacts we come in contact with, such as the television we watch and the music we listen to.


     Our genes do not control us. But the culture around us does not control us, either. No amount of social engineering can change that. As the American biologist E. O. Wilson aptly put it in his Pulitzer Prize winning book, On Human Nature, “The genes hold culture on a leash.”


     We humans use our brains to create new, original culture all the time. But it’s rarely so new and so original that it has nothing to do with our genetic predispositions, notwithstanding the efforts of postmodern artists, including musicians.

 


1.3.23
I
NHUMAN MUSIC OF THE BIOLOGICALLY UNINFORMED: POSTMODERNISM

 

It’s one thing to create original art. It’s another to create inhuman original art.


     Artistic movements such as postmodernism in music and other arts represent brave attempts by artists to break free of our evolved human nature.


     It doesn’t work.


     Human brains evolve with glacial slowness. Biologically, we humans still have brains adapted to Stone Age conditions, like it or not. Humans have been hunter-gatherers for more than 99 percent of human history. No amount of enculturation can change that.


     Most people don’t hang postmodern canvasses of meaningless stripes and blobs on their walls—unless under peer pressure. Nor do they read disjointed gibberish. Nor do they listen to atonal (“serial”) music.


     Cultural relativists insist all art is equal. No such thing as “good” art or “bad” art. A Sunday painter’s crude rendering of Elvis has just as much aesthetic value as a Monet.


     Consider these two paintings. One is Jan Vermeer’s “The Music Lesson.” The other is Barnett Newman’s “Voice of Fire.”


 

     The Vermeer speaks for itself. As for “Voice of Fire”—it’s exactly what you see: three vertical stripes, a work of “art” devoid of a scintilla of imagination or skill. The National Gallery in Ottawa, Canada authorized the payment of $1.76 million for “Voice of Fire.” Cultural relativists deemed it a bargain.


     If you criticize the spending of that amount of money on a panel consisting of three stripes—the type of design you would see at a shopping mall food court—you’re obviously some narrow-minded Philistine, judging something of which you have no cultural knowledge, something that’s out of your cultural experience. “Voice of Fire” is a genuine Barnett Newman, after all. A national art gallery paid $1.76 million for it, so it must be worth the money. Hey, for that kind of money, it has to be a masterpiece!


     The emperor has no clothes. If no one knew it was a genuine Barnett Newman, “Voice of Fire” might fetch as much as $10 at a yard sale—the value of the canvas or plywood or whatever it’s painted on (the thing is pretty big).


     It’s unlikely anyone in their right mind would hang a poster-size reproduction of “Voice of Fire” on their wall. But lots of people hang reproductions of “The Music Lesson.”


     From a commercial standpoint, the National Gallery in Ottawa has probably recouped its financial investment in “Voice of Fire” from the admission fees of incredulous visitors who just had to find out for themselves if the gallery actually did purchase a panel painted with three stripes for $1.76 million, and did provide wall space for it, instead of a work of art.


     As for music ... a cultural relativist would insist that you have to consider a musical piece within its cultural milieu, so all music is equally valid. There’s no such thing as a “good” song or a “bad” song. Artistic merit is too subjective to be judged or measured. A 12-year-old’s first attempt at songwriting has just as much artistic merit as “Georgia On My Mind.”


     This kind of thinking is utterly delusional because it ignores or denies the reality of evolved human nature.



Postmodern Animal Art, Postmodern Child Art, Postmodern Science!

 

If you saw a chimpanzee-painted picture, you probably wouldn’t pay $5 for it—unless you knew that a chimp painted the picture. In that case, you might pay lots of money for it. The “art” of Congo the chimpanzee (1954 - 1964) has sold for tens of thousands of dollars.


Similarly, four-year-old Marla Olmstead’s postmodern paintings (“abstract art”), indistinguishable from postmodern paintings in New York’s finest galleries of indistinguishable postmodern paintings, have sold for thousands of dollars each.


Postmodern artists get much attention in the media ... but what about postmodern socio-political critics and cultural analysts? Doesn’t their gibberish deserve more attention, too?


Alan Sokal, a New York University physicist thought so.


Fed up with denials of reality and the downplaying of scientific evidence by postmodern intellectuals insistent on promulgating claptrap about the “social construction of reality,” Sokal decided to try a little experiment to determine whether or not postmodern relativists had any ability to recognize pure, unadulterated bullshit when it hit them in the face.


Sokal wrote an article titled, “Transgressing the boundaries: Towards a transformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity.” He submitted it to the well-known postmodern cultural studies journal, Social Text. The 35-page article was a hoax, full of wooly postmodern jargon and scientific-sounding absurdities about the implications of quantum physics on social culture, and the role of postmodern science. The bafflegab and the scientific credibility of the author impressed the editors of Social Text. They did not bother to have the article reviewed by scientists who would have known immediately that it was ludicrous twaddle from beginning to end. Instead, Social Text published the article—even though they could not possibly have had any understanding of it, since it was meaningless.



     Musicians unaware of evolutionary biology and its implications often create incomprehensible, inhuman music in an attempt to come up with something original—musical equivalents of “Voice of Fire” or chimpanzee art or Marla Olmstead’s “abstract” paintings. “Surely,” the argument goes, “it’s time to move on from tonal music. We have to progress!”—without realizing that the notion of progress does not apply to the arts, including music (more on this in Chapter 2).


     A postmodern chef would presumably create bold new original dishes by incorporating ingredients such as coal dust, Styrofoam, and plutonium. Not many humans eat inhuman food. And not many humans appreciate inhuman music and inhuman visual art. (Some do, though ...)


     If you write and perform “postmodern” songs, you will probably have a problem making a living. Inhuman music means inaccessible music. Inaccessible music does not communicate emotionally (except to irritate the listener) because the human brain cannot find meaning in it on any level. It’s not because listeners aren’t sophisticated enough. It’s because the music itself amounts to pretentious, meaningless rubbish.



1.3.24

MUSICAL UNIVERSALS


Similar musical elements show up to some degree in the music of all cultures. For example, Westerners listening to Hindustani music report feeling the same specific emotions as the emotions Hindustani musicians report they are intending to convey. Similarly, young children specify the same emotions elicited by a piece of music as do adults. If you could time-travel, you would find the same musical universals in the music of cultures that went extinct tens of thousands of years ago.


     Today, music likely tops the list of all the artistic activities humans practise globally. Here are some musical universals (Table 3)—musical traits found in all musical cultures worldwide (not necessarily characteristic of every individual, but in pretty much all cultures):



TABLE 4  Some Musical Universals






1.3.25

HOW MUCH OF MUSIC IS INNATE, HOW MUCH IS CULTURALLY ACQUIRED?

 

You owe your ability to appreciate and create music to the genes you inherited from your parents and their ancestors, going back many thousands of generations. But the specifics of your musical tastes and musical creativity come primarily from the cultural preferences of your peer group—not from your parents. This applies to your non-musical cultural preferences as well.


     Imagine this sequence of events.

 

        You are born in a small village in South Korea. As a child, you become fluent in the Korean language, absorb the Korean folk music traditions of your parents, and observe their Buddhist religious practices.

 

        When you are six years old, your family emigrates to America and settles in Dodge City, Kansas. Your parents learn practically no English, retain their strong Buddhist faith, and socialize only with other Koreans in Dodge City’s small Korean neighbourhood. At home, you and your parents converse exclusively in Korean.


     Fast forward a few years.

 

        Now you are 11 years old. You’ve been going to school in Dodge for five years. Your parents can still hardly speak a word of English, still hang around with their Korean friends, and remain firm Buddhists.

 

As for you ...

 

        You now speak fluent English with an accent indistinguishable from the accent of your native-born American posse in Dodge. You also dress like them, swagger around like them, ride horses like them, and have habits and tastes and religious interests like theirs.

 

        You walk and talk and identify with your Dodge peer group—not your parents and the Korean cultural world they still inhabit.

 

        In short, you inhabit a personal environment of your own, an environment that overlaps with the personal environments of your peer group. It shows. You still have the genetic inheritance of your parents, of course, but the specific cultural information you have acquired has come mainly from your peer group. And that includes not just your language, but also your musical tastes.


     How much is music innate, and how much is culturally acquired? Probably something like half and half. But you can’t disentangle genetically inherited influence from culturally acquired influence because musical universals show up in varying degrees in the music of all cultures.



1.3.26

WHERE IS MUSIC? WOVEN IN THE FABRIC OF LIFE GLOBALLY

 

Most people experience music every day. One study revealed a 44% probability of experiencing music in any two-hour period.


     This doesn’t mean that people are actually paying attention to the music they hear. That doesn’t happen much. Music hangs around in the social environment.

 

        People often focus on music as a diversion when doing mundane work or chores.

 

        Another main reason people listen to music is to regulate their own mood—to get out of a bad mood, get into a romantic mood, get into an excited mood.


     According to one study, adolescent girls tend to use music as a mood regulator. Boys use music to make an impression on others. Boys also like to listen to music when alone, assimilating identity-building cultural stereotypes.


     Music weaves its way through the fabric of everyday life everywhere: waking up, getting ready for work or school, eating, working, travelling, playing, courting, meditating, praying, horse grooming, shopping, exercising, socializing, trying to get to sleep.



Where? What about Outside the Brain?

 

Music originates solely in the brain.


Or does it?


Could global consciousness, or mass consciousness generally, influence music-making? Is there such a thing as global consciousness?


In 1998, researchers at Princeton University set up an international global consciousness monitoring system. They placed dozens of electronic random event generators (REGs) in many countries around the world. These devices generate sequential data completely at random. The REGs are independent of one another, so they cannot influence each other. Each REG periodically uploads its random data to the lab at Princeton.


The purpose of the experiment was (and still is) to test the following hypothesis:

The composite variation of the distribution means of data sequences (segments) recorded from multiple REGs during broadly engaging global events will deviate from expectation.

In other words, if global consciousness exists, and if it’s detectable with existing technology, then it should affect REG-generated data during events where large numbers of people are thinking about the same thing at the same time. Examples of events would include:

 

        A major terrorist attack such as 9/11

 

        An election

 

        A natural disaster such as a major earthquake or hurricane

 

        A mass-media event such as an international fundraising musical extravaganza


When comparing the data from one REG with the data from another, you would expect to find no statistical correlations beyond what would be expected by chance, if human thinking did not influence the electronically-generated data from the REGs.


But the results of the Princeton experiment, which have been reported continuously since 1998, show numerous statistically significant REG data correlations associated with major humanly important events. The closer the event is physically located to a REG, the greater the effect on the REG data.


While the results neither “prove” nor “disprove” specific cause-and-effect claims, they do provide solid evidence supporting the hypothesis of the investigators.


The scientific rigour with which the monitoring and reporting system was established, and the results it has produced, make the Princeton experiment one of the most fascinating ever devised. You can find out about it and have a look at the results to date (and even the raw data) at their website: http://noosphere.princeton.edu/.


~ • ~ • ~ • ~

 

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 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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