Caveman crooners may have aided early human life
"Studies in neuroscience and anthropology, however, suggest that music did help human ancestors survive, particularly before language. In 'The Singing Neanderthals,' which Harvard University Press is publishing Friday, Prof. Mithen weaves those studies into an intriguing argument that 'language may have been built on the neural underpinnings of music.'

He starts with evidence that music is not merely a side effect of intelligence and language, as some argue. Instead, recent discoveries suggest that music lays sole claim to specific neural real estate. Consider musical savants. Although learning-disabled or retarded, they have astounding musical abilities. One savant could hardly speak or understand words, yet he played flawlessly a simple piano melody from memory despite hearing it only once. In an encore, he added left-hand chords and transposed it into a minor key."

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