In the article “Birth of the beat” (SN: 8/14/10, p. 18), Sandra Trehub says that music’s evolutionary origins remain unknown. Evolution is the sum of many acts of natural selection, so the question is, what survival advantage did music provide? The mother teaching her infant musical skills wouldn’t be so prevalent if survival of musical genes wasn’t an advantage.
This was an excellent set of articles. Please keep up the good work, as you have over the 40 years that I’ve been reading Science News.
Bill Hawkins, Bloomington, Minn.
“Birth of the beat” is a fascinating article and supports some of my own beliefs about the importance of music to humans. However, I didn’t see the word “father” anywhere in the article! I know I had extensive musical interactions with my infant daughters, both vocally and instrumental