Pendragon Press. The World of Music and the Music of the World.

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Neurophysiological Neuropsychological and Evolutionary Perspectives on the Origins and Purposes of Music

Nils Wallin

413 pp.

70 illustrations

ISBN: 978-0945193203

Paperback $85.00

Purchase on Boydell & Brewer


""Since the 1960s Swedish musicologist Nils Wallin has been exploring man's biological inheritance and its relationship to music. This book the culmination of these many years of investigation offers a musicological interpretation of recent r esearch in neurophysiology and paleobiology. A model of music as a natural system which serves as a foundation for the understanding of our musical mind its capacity and its phylogenetic roots is proposed. And a unified bio-socio-cultural field theory of music is presented. It is here argued that music creates structures which develop and grow in a manner not unlike the processes controlling the growth of organisms. Thus music as a system is conditioned by biological microsystems as well as superi or macrosystems of a more complex nature such as the flow of consciousness and social political and economic systems-a natural synergetic system. Wallin's discourse encompasses-1) the musical consequences of cerebral functional asymmetry; 2) the h ierarchic and selective organization ofperceptual-cognitive auditory processes; 3) reticular-limbic responses to musical stimuli interpreted as synapse-modifying mechanisms for long-term motivation and learning as well as for phylogentical learning; 4 ) the question of remnants or retentions with roots in the sound-gestures of other vertebrates of a higher order (and not solely the non-human primates) being active in the innermost structure of music; 5) vocalization techniques e.g. the k�lni ng technique of the late Paleolithic herding culture of Europe as paleobiological retention; 6) the epistemological perspective of models of life-processes as discussed in recent scientific research.



Nils Wallin:


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