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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

Out-of-Print. This book is no longer available from Pendragon Press.


""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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