Book Review: The World in Six Songs

Reader fortunate enough to have discovered Levitin’s previous book This is Your Brain on Music will be disappointed in this offering which promises to shed light on the way music has shaped human behavior. According to Levitin, six types of songs were key to the development of language, nonagressive resolution of conflicts and cooperation. These song types include love, joy, comfort, religious, friendships and knowledge such as cultural history.  Unfortunately, making broad assumptions about the connection between music and evolution without the sufficient science to back them up reduces this to just another piece of pseudoscience. This is especially true when the author is more interested in gratuitous namedropping then putting forth sound arguments. Although the concepts have merit, Levitin fails to make a convincing case for music’s role in human evolution. Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.