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Linguist Steven Pinker of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has proposed that music is merely "auditory cheesecake," or "an evolutionary accident piggy-backing on language," as Daniel J. Levitin at McGill University explained in a recent issue of the journal Cerebrum. But many scientists—Levitin among them—don't agree. "Some researchers are finding that listening to familiar music activates neural structures deep in the ancient primitive regions of the brain, the cerebellar vermis," Levitin writes. "For music so profoundly to affect this gateway to emotion, it must have some ancient and important function."
Geoffrey Miller of University College London has proposed that musical ability—like broad shoulders or showy plumes—may serve to demonstrate fitness to a potential mate. After all, singing or playing an instrument well requires dexterity and good memory. Another suggestion Levitin makes is that music functions as communication, perhaps mimicking the rhythm and contour of our species' primitive calls. So, too, he proposes that perhaps music conveys an advantage through stimulating our primitive timing mechanisms.
Most interesting, he suggests that music stimulates our drive to find patterns in the environment. "Our brain is constantly trying to make order out of disorder, and music is a fantastic pattern game for our higher cognitive centers," he writes. "From our culture, we learn (even if unconsciously) about musical structures, tones and other ways of understanding music as it unfolds over time; and our brains are exercised by extracting different patterns and groupings from music's performance." It is this very kind of pattern recognition—which is extremely important for making sense of the world around us—that Keith Devlin suggests in his book The Math Gene gave rise to language and stands behind mathematical ability as well. To be certain, researchers won't agree on the purpose of music anytime soon—which fortunately shouldn't stop any of us from enjoying it
Originally posted by The Soldier Of Darkness
reply to post by blackthorne
But what about those who compose black/death metal, are they trying to get me to tune into their mind ?