Musical Archaeology. Prehistory

  • In the study of the Prehistory, we cannot cannot affirm that man, in one particular point of his evolution, would start doing music, but only that there was a moment when he would be able to build artifacts to produce sounds, and this only due to the objects the Archaeology has been able to recover. Article by Jesús Salius, musicologist and friend of mine at ESMUC, about some findings of a whistle made out from bone, dated back from paleolithic era and found at Plŕ de l’Estany, and how we can relate this type of objects with similar ones (of flute type), found at other geographical places.

  • Due to lack of direct sources which could describe to us how music started, specialists in other fields have developed explaining arguments based on evolution: i.e. some neurologists have studied the effects of music on the brain, and from here have tried to explain the mechanism which at a certain point, originated a need for music (or pleasure derived from it). Psychologists have also tried to contribute neuroscientific explanations, as for example in the book by Steven Mithen, "The singing Neandertals, the origins of music, language, mind, and body", where a common origin is ascribed to music, language, mind, and body, all arising from the need of communication. Click to see a review of this book.