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MUSIC AND THE GIBBON

 

You dirty buggers who have come here from Twitter will notice Kylie has four arms, for those of you that haven't ignore this!
 
Right-ho let's take it back a few years. Let's take it all the way back to the pre-literate cultures and I don't mean Basingstoke circa 1970. The first instrument to be found is believed to be a flute discovered in the Slovenian cave Divje Babe I in 1995. The instrument was carved from the femur of a juvenile cave bear some 43,000 years ago. The first Neanderthal hyoid bone with the modern human form has been dated at 60,000 years ago, pre-dating the first instrument by some 25,000 years.
 
The reason we first started making music has constantly been under debate. There are myriad theories such as the argument of imitation - to echo the tonality and textures of naturally occurring sounds, in some instances this relates to shamanistic beliefs or practices. Some say music began as a way of survival i.e. motherese - those children that are sang to by their mothers will by default have a better  ability to communicate and in turn a better chance of survival through natural selection. 
 
It can be sexual, a musical display can demonstrate fitness to mate. Music's power as a defence mechanism has also been adduced. It is thought that communities used it as a form of "combat trance" where they beat sticks and shit until they got proper fucking berserka, feeling no pain and are proper rude boy when it comes to the ruck. It could also be used to repel predators and competitors, perhaps as a form scavenging.
 
It is a tough nut to crack this, for many believe the creation of music as we know it can only come from 'intentionality' - intentional emotional manipulation - the ability to reflect on past and future. But some zoologists are convinced they have the proof that monkeys have words for things like 'grapes' and also dig a decent sunset and beat bones on hollow logs to make an apt jamboree. For me I think it is fairly straight forward. When I sit down and listen to a tune I wanna feel the truth, I want it to envelop me with a sense of the untouchable circle of knowledge - I want God to rip a fleshy hole in my scrotum and say this is being!- you are alive! - you will die but fear not you may come back as Cindy Crawford's leotard. I want the whole mystery of being to pour out like a frothy brew and i'll get down on my knees and lick it up like a dog eating its own puke. This is why this is my favourite song…….
 
Alex Templeton-Ward
Posted 24th January by Livemusic Team
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