The human history and relationship to music

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Are there medical benefits to listening to music? Photo by Shutterstock.

Music has always played an important role in cultures across the globe and across the millenia. The discovery of a  40,000-year-old bone flute in a German cave showed that hominids, our prehistoric ancestors, could use a tool to produce sound. Technology continues to impact the history and evolution of music, from the lyres depicted in the art of ancient Greece to the orchestras, synthesizers, and electronics used today.  

Music professor and author Michael Spitzer traces our history of and relationship to music, and tracks the impact music has had on our lives, from Mozart and jazz to Beyonce and hip-hop. Harvard psychiatrist David Silberswieg also discusses how listening to music enhances brain function.  Could listening to music help with depression and Parkinson’s disease?



Andrea Brody