Did music arrive with the apes?

The Singing Neanderthals, by Stephen Mithen Weidenfeld & Nicolson, €29.20.

13th August, 2005

The Singing Neanderthals, by Stephen Mithen Weidenfeld & Nicolson, €29.20.

“Music has charms to soothe a savage breast ,” wrote William Congreve, “to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” Mothers everywhere sing to their infants, and playing Mozart to babies in the womb is said to make them intelligent. It doesn't, although one study found that premature infants who had music played to them left hospital earlier. In some cultures, virtually everybody sings or...

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