Music & Monkeys: Monkey-Human Ancestors Got Music 30 Million Years Ago
by Jennifer Viegas
Music skills evolved at least 30 million years ago in the common ancestor of humans and monkeys, according to a new study that could help explain why chimpanzees drum on tree roots and monkey calls sound like singing.
The study, published in the latest issue of Biology Letters, also suggests an answer to this chicken-and-egg question: Which came first, language or music? The answer appears to be music.
"Musical behaviors would constitute a first step towards phonological patterning, and therefore language," lead author Andrea Ravignani told Discovery News…