The Musical Human: A History of Life on Earth – A BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week' (Paperback)
  • The Musical Human: A History of Life on Earth – A BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week' (Paperback)
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The Musical Human: A History of Life on Earth – A BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week' (Paperback)

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£12.99
Paperback 480 Pages
Published: 14/04/2022
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A RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK'Full of delightful nuggets' Guardian online

'Entertaining, informative and philosphical ... An essential read' All About History

'Extraordinary range ... All the world and more is here' Evening Standard165 million years ago saw the birth of rhythm.

66 million years ago came the first melody.

40 thousand years ago Homo sapiens created the first musical instrument.

Today music fills our lives. How we have created, performed and listened to music throughout history has defined what our species is and how we understand who we are. Yet it is an overlooked part of our origin story.

The Musical Human takes us on an exhilarating journey across the ages – from Bach to BTS and back – to explore the vibrant relationship between music and the human species. With insights from a wealth of disciplines, world-leading musicologist Michael Spitzer renders a global history of music on the widest possible canvas, from global history to our everyday lives, from insects to apes, humans to artificial intelligence.

'Michael Spitzer has pulled off the impossible: a Guns, Germs and Steel for music' Daniel Levitin

'A thrilling exploration of what music has meant and means to humankind' Ian Bostridge

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781526602787
Number of pages: 480
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Entertaining, informative and philosophical ... An essential read - All About History Magazine

Extraordinary range ... All the world and more is here - Evening Standard, Julian Glover

An ambitious and total history of music - Charlotte Runcie, Daily Telegraph

Full of delightful nuggets ... sends the reader back to a world of musical examples time and time again - Guardian

Extraordinary ... Ranging from the Geissenklösterle caves to K-Pop, from the lost music of the Aztecs to the role of song in hunter-gatherer societies, and drawing on a vast array of specialisations, from archaeoacoustics to ornithology, Spitzer utilises a breath-taking variety of sources ... The Musical Human will make you think differently about music, about its place in your life and about its importance to human life tout court - Mathew Lyons, Literary Review

Bold, compelling and ear-opening - Michael Prodger, New Statesman

A hugely ambitions work, but never daunting, and there's something thought-provoking on every page ... With scholarship, wit and passion, this book demonstrates that there is truly a soundtrack to human lives - Catherine Bott, Classic FM

A thrilling exploration of what music has meant and means to humankind - Ian Bostridge

Music changed my life. It changes my mood, my thoughts, my feelings and changes the way I move. Now I know why. This book has connected me to not only the language of love but the language of life. If you can just hum, whistle out of tune or shake a leg at a wedding then open the pages of this book and know why! A revelation - Michael Cashman

Blurring the lines between musical theory, anthropology, biology and history, Spitzer posits that music is one of our most defining achievements, fundamental to the human experience - Rhiannon Thomas, Radio Times

An amazing book, tying together research in archaeology, anthropology, music history, and human origins to form a compelling and exciting account of the many ways music has developed across the world and across time. Michael Spitzer has pulled off the impossible: a Guns, Germs and Steel for music - Daniel Levitin

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