Playlist: The Nerve
Compiled By: Alexis Connolly
Produced by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Most recent piece in this series:
Episode 2 of The Nerve asks the question why? Why did music evolve in the first place? Some people think music is merely an evolutionary frill, a by-product - delicious cheesecake for our ears that has no evolutionary purpose. Darwin himself was puzzled by music. Observing songbirds, he suggested music's role was in sexual selection (which may explain why rock stars from Franz Liszt to Tommy Lee have had such busy sex lives). Others believe music's origins may be found in the mother-infant interactions we call baby talk, and others consider the importance of the lullaby - a need to pacify infants. Others theorize that music developed in tandem with the social cohesion necessary to the survival of bands of early humans, critical to them through its power to strengthen social bonds.
Cheesecake? Or sex, baby talk, and social interaction? Set in the Key of DNA, The Nerve 2 examines what the purpose of music is and has been, yesterday and today.
The Nerve Part 1 looks at how we are wired for sound – and just how all the wonder that music makes possible, is possible itself in the first place.
On Episode 1 of The Nerve, host Jowi Taylor takes you on an aural journey, from the creation of sound at its source, through the air and the outer ear to the cochlea, the spinal column, and the cerebral cortex. On the way, you'll hear about how and why hearing evolved, and how the human ear is designed to react to certain sounds. Why do we hear some sounds as music, and other sounds as noise? What's the critical relationship between anticipation and satisfaction that drives music? Just what happens when the human brain and music become dance partners? And what roles do the elements we call rhythm, harmony, melody and timbre play in that dance?