In this course we survey different theories of the origins of music and language.
Over the years it has become clear that all humans share a predisposition for music, just like we have for language. We all can perceive and enjoy music. This view is supported by a growing body of research from developmental psychology neuroscience and the many contributions from the field of music cognition. These studies indicate that our capacity for music has an intimate relationship with our cognition and underlying biology, which is particularly clear when the focus is on perception rather than production.
The aim of this course is to identify the cognitive, biological and mechanistic underpinnings for music cognition as key ingredients of musicality, to assess to what extent these are unique to humans, and by doing so providing insight in their potential biological origins. As such this course has the aspiration to lay a new, interdisciplinary and comparative foundation for the study of musicality.
In addition, this course will discuss recent developments in the research field of music cognition. Topics include a) the origins and evolution of musicality, b) the cognition of rhythm and melody, c) musical competence, d) relation between musical and non-musical abilities, and e) the similarities and differences between music and language. The topics might change due to recent developments.