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Cognition. 2006 May;100(1):1-32. Epub 2006 Feb 20.

The nature of music from a biological perspective.

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International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research (BRAMS), University of Montreal, Que., Canada.


Music, as language, is a universal human trait. Throughout human history and across all cultures, people have produced and enjoyed music. Despite its ubiquity, the musical capacity is rarely studied as a biological function. Music is typically viewed as a cultural invention. In this paper, the evidence bearing on the biological perspective of the musical capacity is reviewed. Related issues, such as domain-specificity, innateness, and brain localization, are addressed in an attempt to offer a unified conceptual basis for the study of music processing. This scheme should facilitate the study of the biological foundations of music by bringing together the fields of genetics, developmental and comparative research, neurosciences, and musicology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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