Music in Evolution and Evolution in Music

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Music in Evolution and Evolution in Music by Steven Jan is a comprehensive account of the relationships between evolutionary theory and music. Examining the ‘evolutionary algorithm’ that drives biological and musical-cultural evolution, the book provides a distinctive commentary on how musicality and music can shed light on our understanding of Darwin’s famous theory, and vice-versa.

Comprised of seven chapters, with several musical examples, figures and definitions of terms, this original and accessible book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the relationships between music and evolutionary thought. Jan guides the reader through key evolutionary ideas and the development of human musicality, before exploring cultural evolution, evolutionary ideas in musical scholarship, animal vocalisations, music generated through technology, and the nature of consciousness as an evolutionary phenomenon.

A unique examination of how evolutionary thought intersects with music, Music in Evolution and Evolution in Music is essential to our understanding of how and why music arose in our species and why it is such a significant presence in our lives.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherOpen Book Publishers
Number of pages773
ISBN (Electronic)9781800647374
ISBN (Print)9781800647350, 9781800647367
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2022


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