"A Million Years of Music" book

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"A Million Years of Music" book

Post by Gone To Lunch »

I would like to introduce you all to a brilliant book about music which I thoroughly recommend.

It is ‘A Million Years of Music – The Emergence of human Modernity’, by Gary Tomlinson, for about £17. GT is a Professor of Music and the Humanities at Yale.

AMYM is the most amazing book I have ever read about music. It is impeccably scholastic, diligently researched and presented, yet reads like a compulsive page-turning thriller.
It describes, in forensic detail, how the human capacity for abstraction developed over the last million years to eventually enable music.

Here are some quotes from the back cover, which I can confirm are entirely justified:

“What is the origin of music? In the last few decades this centuries-old puzzle has been reinvigorated by new archaeological evidence ad developments in the fields of cognitive science, linguistics, and evolutionary theory. In this path-breaking book, Gary Tomlinson draws from these areas to construct a new model for the emergence of human music. Starting at a period of human prehistory long before Homo Sapiens or music existed, he describes the incremental attainments that, by changing the communication and society of prehuman species. laid the foundations for music behaviours in more recent times. Tomlinson’s model allows him to account for much of what makes us a unique species in the world today and provides a new way of understanding the appearance of humanity in its modern form.”

“This is interdisciplinarity at the deepest level … AMYM … is the ultimate rebuttal of Steven Pinker’s glib dismissal of music as a disposable pleasure stimulus … Written with passion and great erudition, it demonstrates music’s role as an essential part of human identity” – Matthew Franke, MAKE Literary Magazine.

“This brilliant book offers the most convincing argument I have seen for how music came to be … AMYM is a model for how scholarship in the twenty-first century can be done.” – Daniel Lord Small, author of ‘On Deep History and the Brain.’

“The past two decades have … seen the development of a ‘biocultural’ hypothesis for the origins and nature of the musical mind that looks beyond the traditional nature-culture dichotomy … GT’s approach represents the current state of the art in the field.” – Dylan Van Der Schyff and Andrea Schiavio, ‘Frontiers in Neuroscience.’

“To have modern philosophical conundrums about music traced back to their aboriginal origins is simply breathtaking, and GT crosses disciplines with such deep knowledge of so many, and such fearlessness, as to give new meaning to the idea of intellectual synergy” – Carolyn Abbate, author of ‘In Search of Opera’.

“Written in dialogue with evolutionary biology, cognitive science, paleoarchaeology, and paleoanthropology, [this] book is hardly a work of musicology at all … Nevertheless, AMYM may be the most important contribution to musicology in its short history: in his historical purview and methodological blend of hard science and historiography, GT sketches a map of the future terrain that every musicologist will one day be obliged to explore.” – Shane McMahon, Journal of the Royal Musical Association.

And on top of all that, once-and-for-all it proves conclusively why the drummer is, always was, and always will be, the most important member of the band.
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Re: "A Million Years of Music" book

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Sounds intriguing. I'll check it out. Thanks for the recommendation.
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Re: "A Million Years of Music" book

Post by blinddrew »

Gone To Lunch wrote:And on top of all that, once-and-for-all it proves conclusively why the drummer is, always was, and always will be, the most important member of the band.

I think U2 proved that! :D
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Re: "A Million Years of Music" book

Post by muzines »

Does it categorically prove that D minor is the saddest of all keys?
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Re: "A Million Years of Music" book

Post by Sam Spoons »

Would that be at A=440 or A=432?
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Re: "A Million Years of Music" book

Post by muzines »

Sam Spoons wrote:Would that be at A=440 or A=432?

Absolutely.
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Re: "A Million Years of Music" book

Post by Sam Spoons »

:D:D:D

Ah so -273.15º then?
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Re: "A Million Years of Music" book

Post by Logarhythm »

Sam Spoons wrote::D:D:D

Ah so -273.15º then?

It's not great humour, but it's probably 0K ;)
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Re: "A Million Years of Music" book

Post by Arpangel »

Gone To Lunch wrote: And on top of all that, once-and-for-all it proves conclusively why the drummer is, always was, and always will be, the most important member of the band.

I thought it was because he had a van?

:)

Sounds like an interesting book.
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Re: "A Million Years of Music" book

Post by Sam Spoons »

A mate tells the story of how he became a drummer in a band, apparently he was the only one with 10 bob in his post office account to buy a kit..... Later on he became a gas fitter for Brattish Gits (as he dubbed to them) and thus was the guy with the van too.

("van too, van too", a vampire sound engineer?)
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