Music as a trait in evolutionary theory: A musicological perspective

Behav Brain Sci. 2021 Sep 30;44:e93. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X20001193.


Although it can be straightforward to define the features of physical traits, complex cultural categories tend to elude widely accepted definitions that transcend cultural and historical context. Addressing papers by Mehr et al. and Savage et al., which both aim to explain music as an evolved trait, we discuss fundamental problems that arise from their conceptualizations of music.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution
  • Humans
  • Music*