This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← Did Humans Invent Music?

harry jen's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by harry jen

once upon a time the late, great doug hammond (legendary jazz drummer & composer) asked his students why they were making music.

this being a serious and fundamental question all of them gave some wishy-washy answers like "cause I want to express myself" and "music is universal" and stuff.

to which he replied: "bullshit. you're doing it for pussy!" which pretty much sums it up for me.

having said that not even I as a professional musician (and probably all the grey matter augmentation that goes with it) can believe that music is in any way hardwired in human brains. there is hardly any common denominator that makes it universal even within the same culture, as comments 10 & 11 illustrate, so I would also state that an ancient babylonian tribe would maybe not have much fun on a skrillex concert (though, who would?).

there's a nice comment about pattern recognition on the original page, which just about sums up my viewpoint on it. to me music is just sound that is a little better organized than ordinary noise, which makes it more appealing than ordinary noise. apart from that it's all conditioning.

also, I find it funny that the two guys debating are called "marcus & miller".

Sun, 22 Apr 2012 10:56:24 UTC | #936440