- Music and language have some similarities. They may have emerged together.
- Music and language are part of the same sound processing system in the brain. They are like two different radio programs broadcast on the same hardware. However, while almost everyone can create language, only specialists can create music.
- Language is more important in humans, so we can assume that language was the main thing evolution selected for, and music evolved as a by-product.
- Contrary to Darwin’s claim, music may have served an evolutionary purpose by allowing mothers to form emotional bonds with infants.
- Studies show that mothers and infants engage in mutual improvisations together. These are brief and use musical elements.
- These musical interactions can build emotional bonds which allow for a long period of maternal care and protection. This is necessary because humans are very helpless at birth and have a long period of brain development.
Both passages talk about the possible evolutionary purpose of music. Passage A compares music and language. The following are important points:
- Music and language developed together.
- Language is something (almost) every human makes and understands.
- Music is understood by almost all, but normally made only by specialists.
- Language is more important than music, so it was probably what evolution selected for.
Passage B is just focussed on music. Its argument is that music actually did serve an evolutionarily necessary role: it helped mothers emotionally bond with infants during the long phase when infants are helpless and developing.
There’s not much overlap between the two passages. About the only intersection is that the author of passages A and B disagree on whether or not music has been evolutionarily useful for humans. A says no, B says yes.
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