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 Neanderthal Song?

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PostSubject: Neanderthal Song?   Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:51 am

Sy Montgomery wrote:
Although this issue is hotly debated, a sizable number of experts think that our closest human relatives, the extinct Neanderthals, lacked complex language -- but sang instead.  In his book "The Singing Neanderthal," University of Reading archaeologist Steven Mithen proposes these early people had a prelinguistic communication system more like music than speech.  Only recently, says Mithen, have language and music, poetry, and dance separated into different ways of thinking.
Fascinating speculation.  No way to prove it of course, but a novel idea.  Neanderthal bird calls as mating calls.
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PostSubject: Re: Neanderthal Song?   Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:56 pm

Book arrived today.

It's 4th in line on the reading table.
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PostSubject: Re: Neanderthal Song?   Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:59 pm

Still haven't opened the book. Still want to.

Meanwhile, a new theory postulates that Neanderthals died out naturally, not because they couldn't compete with Sapiens but because they were overrun.

The "evidence" looks sketchy to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Neanderthal Song?   Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:08 pm

Started this book this evening (two years to the day after ordering it).  Promises to be much more engaging than the last one that stopped me up like a bowel obstruction.

Points of interest so far:

  • Every human culture known has music (...and language and religion)
  • No species other than man has music that is composed spontaneously (...or apparently language or religion), not even chimps that are 98.8% identical in DNA
  • Western culture is an anomaly in that "musicians" are separated from non-musicians and many people claim to be non-musical
  • Mothers the world over sing to their babies to calm them.  Some of the first human sounds babies associate with warmth and protection are singing
  • Music doesn't fossilize so it's impossible to know how soon music evolved, but chances are it was very early.  As early as language or earlier -- as evidenced by aphasias preventing speech quite often leaving song untouched
  • While the greater-than-6,000 known languages can generally be translated one-to-another, styles of music cannot be "translated" without greatly altering the nature of the music itself.  It's as if each "style" of music is its own meaning within one big "language" which is "music"
  • IDS, infant-directed speech, uses exaggerated vowel sounds, repeated syllables and sing-songy pitch ("Coochy-coochy-coo you sweetie bitty baby"). IDS is universal enough that there's a name for it, and it occurs in every known language, with identical characteristics

More as I come across them.
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PostSubject: Re: Neanderthal Song?   Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:34 am

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